Lionel Messi has agreed to join Paris Saint-Germain on a two-year contract.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner arrived in Paris on Tuesday afternoon to seal his move to the French club on a two-year deal – with an option for a third – worth £25m per year after tax, plus bonuses.
The French club posted a twitter video teasing his arrival, accompanied by the words “New diamond in Paris”, with a press conference scheduled for Wednesday morning.
Messi – who will receive a £25m signing-on fee as part of the move – was set to extend his 21-year stay at Barcelona by signing a new five-year deal this summer.
However, the club announced on Thursday that “financial and structural obstacles” meant the deal could not be completed, meaning Messi left as a free agent.
The 34-year-old said he wanted to stay at Barcelona and “did everything” he could to remain at the club, including agreeing to a 50-per-cent wage cut.
However, Barcelona are hamstrung by La Liga’s rules on club spending and even halving Messi’s pay was not enough to ensure he remained at the Nou Camp.
Messi had two other options after leaving Barcelona last week but has opted to join PSG, with their potential to compete for major trophies – including the Champions League – understood to be a key factor in his decision to move to France.