Lionel Messi won’t sign a new contract at Barcelona, the Catalonian club revealed on Thursday evening. The Argentinean superstar will leave Camp Nou after 21 years with Barca.

Lionel Messi - Barcelona
Messi will leave Barcelona after spending 21 years at the club. (Image: Twitter/FabrizioRomano)

According to transfer market specialist Fabrizio Romano, talks between Messi’s representatives and PSG have already taken place. The French pushed to bring Messi to Parc des Princes last year when he attempted to leave Barcelona for the first time. In the end, Messi decided to continue life in blaugrana, despite his disbelief in the club’s strategy and vision under then-president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

When Joan Laporta was elected to replace Bartomeu in March, Messi and his family changed their mind. Messi was convinced to stay and even agreed on a massive pay cut to extend his deal until 2026.

Laporta: ‘I don’t want to give false hopes. Messi can look at other options.’

Messi was left disappointed after finding out his convention with Barcelona can’t be honored anymore. He returned to the Catalonian city prepared to sign his extension and make his stay official, but Barcelona couldn’t get the league’s approval to register the contract under the agreed terms.

“We had an agreement with Messi to sign a five-year contract and just pay him two years’ salary,” Barcelona president Laporta revealed on Friday. “Leo said ‘yes’ to that contract offer, it was accepted. We were convinced it was a good agreement for Financial Fair Play, but it wasn’t allowed by La Liga.”

Asked if Barcelona could re-sign Messi by the end of the transfer window, Laporta said “I don’t want to give false hopes. We had a deadline because La Liga is starting soon. Messi can now look at other options.”

Laporta further explained that the team is greater than just one player, no matter who that may be. “We have an institution which is 122 years old. It’s above the players, including above the best player in the world. We are indebted to Messi, but the club is above everything,” he said.

PSG favored to sign Messi

Bookies have PSG at -333 to sign Messi, with a fast comeback to Barcelona at +260. City is currently at +500, while a move to the MLS is at +1300. Manchester United is now at +1800, the same as Newell’s Old Boys. Inter stands at +1900, with Juventus and Chelsea tied at +2000.

Liverpool sits at +2500, just like Atletico Madrid. Arsenal is at +3300, above London rivals Tottenham at +4000. Bayern Munich and AC Milan are even further away, at +4000. Mourinho’s AS Roma ends the list at +5000.

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