Lionel Messi has reached an agreement to sign for French club Paris Saint-Germain, bringing his long-term association with Barcelona to an end, French media reported on Tuesday.
L’Equipe, a French newspaper, has announced that the football star will sign a two-year contract with the French giants.
L’Equipe et Le Parisien both add that the Argentine is due to arrive in Paris Tuesday afternoon.
Paris Saint-Germain stated that they did not have any comment when Daily Reuters contacted them earlier Tuesday.
Messi’s departure to Paris marks the end of his 20-plus year-long spell in Barcelona.
The Argentine, widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, did not sign a new contract with Barcelona.
Barcelona claimed that Messi was not eligible for a new contract due to the club’s financial crisis and La Liga’s Financial Fair Play regulations. However, both sides reached an agreement.
Spanish newspaper El Mundo revealed that the previous contract of the 34-year old was worth $672 million. This made him the highest-paid athlete in sports history.
Messi had previously expressed his desire for a Catalan club exit last year but decided to remain because he didn’t intend to challenge the decision of the club in court or drag out a legal battle.
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The club’s all time top goal scorer, the emotional and tearful Alexis Sanchez, reflected on his career at Barcelona, where he won many major collective and individual awards including four Champions League titles as well as 10 La Liga titles.
He said, “I gave everything for this club for this shirt from the first day that I arrived at it the last.”
“And the truth of it is, I’m more than satisfied. I would like to say goodbye in another way. “I never thought of my farewell in this manner.”