Lionel Messi in advanced transfer talks to join Paris Saint-Germain on two-year deal after leaving Barcelona

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Barcelona confirmed the departure of Lionel Messi on Thursday and Paris Saint-Germain have already emerged as strong favourites to sign the forward; the 34-year-old had spent his entire career at the Nou Camp

Lionel Messi has spoken directly with Paris Saint-Germain head coach Mauricio Pochettino as he moves closer to joining the French club after leaving Barcelona.

The 34-year-old is expected to sign a two-year contract next week, worth £25m a year after tax, with the option of a further year, with Messi and his father Jorge braced for the arrival of an offer this weekend.

Messi left Barcelona after the La Liga club were unable to fulfil a new contract that had been agreed with the player due to “financial and structural obstacles”.

PSG, managed by Messi’s compatriot Pochettino, quickly emerged as the frontrunners for his signature, in a move that would reunite him with former Barcelona team-mate Neymar.

Lionel Messi is ending his 21-year stay at Barcelona

Messi is open to joining PSG, but he and his representatives want to take time to assess their options following his shock exit from the Nou Camp.

PSG believe they have a good chance of completing a deal and can afford to sign him without breaking any Financial Fair Play rules.

Gianluigi Donnarumma, Sergio Ramos and Georginio Wijnaldum have already arrived at the Parc des Princes on free transfers this summer.

Messi, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner, had officially been a free agent since July 1 after he failed to agree terms over a renewal before his previous Barca contract expired on June 30.

Messi had spent his entire career at Barcelona, coming through the club’s academy before going on to score 672 goals in 778 appearances after making his senior debut in 2003.

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