Lionel Messi has reached a deal to sign with French club Paris Saint-Germain, ending his long-standing association with Barcelona, French media reported on Tuesday.
French media L’Equipe indicates on its website that the football superstar will sign a first two-year contract with the French giants.
L’Equipe and Le Parisien add that the Argentinian should arrive in Paris on Tuesday afternoon.
Paris Saint-Germain said they made no comment when contacted earlier Tuesday by CNN.
Messi’s move to Paris puts an end to his historic 20-plus-year stay in Barcelona.
The Argentine, widely regarded as one of the best players of all time, has not signed a new contract with Barcelona.
Barcelona said the club’s dire financial situation and La Liga’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations meant he could not give Messi a new contract, despite both sides reaching a OK.
The 34-year-old’s previous contract, which expired at the end of June, was revealed by Spanish newspaper El Mundo to be worth $ 672 million and made him the highest-paid athlete in the history of the sport.
Messi had expressed his desire to leave the Catalan club last year but decided to stay as he had no intention of challenging the club’s decision in court and dragging out litigation.
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In a tearful press conference on Sunday, the club’s all-time top scorer opened up about his Barcelona career in which he won numerous major collective and individual awards, including four Champions League titles and 10 titles in La Liga.
“I gave everything for this club for this jersey, from the first day of my arrival until the last,” he said.
“And the truth is, I am more than satisfied. I would have liked to say goodbye in a different way. I never imagined my farewells that way.
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