Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, Argentina (c) Lionel Messi Facebook

Lionel Messi edges closer to signing for Paris Saint-Germain

Lionel Messi is reportedly in an advanced stage of negotiations with Paris Saint-Germain over a switch to France.

After 17 seasons with Barcelona, Lionel Messi departs as a free agent after the club released an official statement recently. Joan Laporta stated that a renewal was on the cards with Messi but it fell through due to financial obstacles and structures that have been imposed by La Liga to avoid breaching the Financial Fair Play Rules, according to the club’s statement.

The 34-year-old is now in an advanced stage of negotiations with Paris Saint-Germain, and his father Jorge Messi is set to meet PSG’s executives over the weekend to negotiate the final deal, according to Sky Sports. The Qatar-owned French club is willing to offer Messi a two-year deal with an option to extend by a single season along with a 25-million-euro annual salary.

Lionel Messi has also spoken to Mauricio Pochettino and is convinced with the project that they have to offer. PSG have been one of the most active clubs in the summer transfer window so far, after signing Achraf Hakimi, Gianluigi Donnaruma, Georginio Wijnaldum and Sergio Ramos while also extending terms with Neymar.

Nasser Al-Khelaifi is looking to build an unbeatable team with Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Messi as the attacking trident. While PSG are keen on keeping hold of Mbappe, it would practically be impossible to keep the 22-year-old if Messi signs due to his hefty wages that might breach the wage cap. Les Parisiens may be forced into the option of selling the Frenchman in order to accommodate the Argentinian in the squad without any legal issues.

Meanwhile, for Messi, the Ligue 1 would be a walk in the park and is certainly not a demanding challenge. The six-time Ballon d’Or winner will instead want to focus on guiding Paris Saint-Germain to their maiden Champions League trophy after struggling with Barcelona since their triumph in Berlin six years ago.

In the last two seasons, PSG have taken major strides in Europe’s elite competition and the potential signing of Leo Messi along with Hakimi, Ramos and Wijnaldum could be the missing piece to their puzzle in the UCL.

Meanwhile, Barca will have to learn to move on without their captain’s presence next season. The Catalans recently signed Eric Garcia, Emerson Royal, Memphis Depay and Sergio Aguero in the transfer window but have not yet registered any of the players due to La Liga’s wage cap restrictions. However, with Lionel Messi now off their books, the club could possibly now register all their new arrivals but need to make significant sales before doing so.

It is rather unfortunate that Barcelona had to bid goodbye to their greatest ever player in such a fashion after so many years of service. On the flipside, PSG are preparing for Messi’s arrival and are expected to strike a deal by next week with one of the world’s best players ever.