Messi flying to Paris as PSG deal nears

Lionel Messi is flying to Paris on Tuesday to finalise his move to Paris Saint-Germain, sources have told ESPN.

The Argentina international is travelling to the French capital following Sunday’s emotional farewell to Barcelona at a news conference. Sources added that Messi has signed a two-year contract at PSG, with the option to extend by a further year.

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Messi is taking a private plane where there are hundreds of fans waiting for him at both the Bourget airport and at the PSG’s Parc des Princes stadium.

Sources have told ESPN that PSG have offered the six-time Ballon d’Or winner a two-year contract with an optional third year that will see him earn more than PSG and Brazil star Neymar, Messi’s former teammate at Barca.

Messi’s contract with Barca expired on June 30 and despite attempts to keep the club’s all-time leading scorer, the deal could not be completed due to financial constraints.

The 34-year-old is expected to undergo a medical in the coming days and could be presented at an event at the Eiffel Tower.

A tearful Messi told a news conference on Sunday that he had wanted to remain at Barca and agreed to a 50% wage cut, but the club had no room to manoeuvre because of their failure to offload other players in time and reduce their high wage bill.

Messi also admitted he had received several calls from clubs since the news broke that he would not continue his 21-year association with Barca.

“[PSG] is one possibility,” Messi said. “There’s nothing closed at the moment, but we’re talking about a lot of things. After Barca’s statement, a lot of clubs showed an interest. There’s nothing final but, of course, there are talks.”

Asked about the prospect of joining a rival, Messi added: “There is no doubt that I will go to a team that will compete with Barca. I didn’t want to leave, but I have to. And I want to keep winning. That’s my mentality. I want to win.”

Following Messi’s farewell, Barca won the Joan Gamper Trophy with an impressive 3-0 win over Juventus.