Lionel Messi to reportedly sign two-year deal with PSG
Lionel Messi. Witters Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Lionel Messi to reportedly sign two-year deal with Paris Saint-Germain

Lionel Messi said goodbye to Barcelona in an emotional news conference Sunday. And while Paris Saint-Germain are the frontrunner to sign the Argentinian, he said nothing has been confirmed, according to ESPN's Sam Marsden and Julien Laurens.

Messi confirmed PSG's interest in him Sunday, and ESPN reports the 34-year-old has already agreed to sign with the Ligue 1 side. He is set to travel to Paris soon before completing a medical in the coming days and signing a two-year deal with an option for a third year. 

Messi had played for Barcelona since he was 13 years old, winning 35 titles. He is a four-time Champions League champion, 10-time Spanish League champion, seven-time Copa del Rey champion and eight-time Spanish Super Cup champion. 

Messi said he did not want to leave Barcelona this summer despite wanting to do so last year, adding that moving on from the club is "without a doubt the most difficult time in my career." 

The star striker also said he had agreed to take a 50% wage cut to stay at Barcelona, but it wasn't enough as the club is in a tremendous amount of debt. 

"I am really sad because I didn't want to leave because this is the club I love," he said. "I didn't expect this. I have never lied; I have always been honest and upfront. Last year I wanted to leave; this year I didn't. That's why I am so sad.

"As the president [Joan Laporta] has explained, the club has debt [problems]. It's not possible. Why keep drawing it out if it's nearly impossible? The talks stopped as Barca did not want to go on, they knew LaLiga would not let it happen, it was impossible.

"I did everything I could to stay and it wasn't possible. I offered to reduce my salary by 50% and Barca didn't ask for anything else. They didn't ask for another 30%; that's a lie."

If Messi's move to PSG becomes official, he'll be reunited with former Barca teammate Neymar, who said in December 2020 that he wanted to play with Messi again and that the club needed to get a deal done. 

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner would also be the team's latest signing this summer, joining Gianluigi Donnarumma, Sergio Ramos and Georginio Wijnaldum.

The Parisians opened the 2021-22 season on Saturday with a 2-1 victory over Troyes. Their next match is set for Aug. 14 against Strasbourg. Even if Messi is signed before next weekend, it's unclear if he'd make his PSG debut against Strasbourg. 

Erin Walsh is a Boston sports fan through and through. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bridgewater State University and currently is in pursuit of her Master's Degree in Journalism from Northeastern University. Follow her on Twitter @ewalsh90.

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