Lionel Messi flew on a private jet to Paris on Tuesday to finalise his move to Paris Saint-Germain.
The Argentina international travelled to the French capital following Sunday’s emotional farewell to Barcelona at a news conference. Sources told ESPN that Messi has agreed to sign a two-year contract at PSG, with the option to extend for a third year.
Messi is due to complete a medical Tuesday and a news conference was originally planned later in the day, but sources told ESPN it has been moved to Wednesday as PSG need more time to cope with logistics amid worldwide media interest in the transfer.
Messi boarded a private aircraft as hundreds of fans waited for him at the Bourget airport in France and at PSG’s Parc des Princes stadium. The plane, a Bombardier Global 7500, touched down in France just after 3.30 PM local time on Tuesday (10.30 a.m. ET).
Messi’s father, Jorge, who acts as the player’s agent, was asked by reporters at Barcelona’s El Prat airport if his son will sign for PSG.
PSG’s contract offer for the six-time Ballon d’Or winner will see him earn more than PSG and Brazil star Neymar, Messi’s former teammate at Barca. Sources added Messi will stay at Hotel Le Royal Monceau, the same location Neymar stayed when he completed his world record €222m move to PSG in 2017.
Messi’s contract with Barca expired on June 30, and despite attempts to keep the club’s all-time leading scorer, the deal could not be completed due to financial constraints.
A tearful Messi said at a news conference on Sunday that he had wanted to remain at Barca and agreed to a 50% wage cut, but the club had no room to manoeuvre because of their failure to offload other players in time and reduce their high wage bill.