Lionel Messi looks primed to join PSG after leaving Barcelona, and Manchester CIty completing the signing of Jack Grealish.
Barcelona announced the six-time Ballon d’Or winner will not be staying at the club ‘because of financial and structural obstacles’.
The 34-year-old has been a free agent since July 1 when his contract expired at the Nou Camp. The club wrote in a statement;
Leo Messi not staying at FC Barcelona
Despite club and player reaching an agreement and their clear intention to sign a new contract today, this cannot happen because of financial and structural obstacles
Despite FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi having reached an agreement and the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today, this cannot happen because of financial and structural obstacles (Spanish Liga regulations).
As a result of this situation, Messi shall not be staying on at FC Barcelona. Both parties deeply regret that the wishes of the player and the club will ultimately not be fulfilled.
FC Barcelona wholeheartedly expresses its gratitude to the player for his contribution to the aggrandisement of the club and wishes him all the very best for the future in his personal and professional life.
According to Betfair, PSG is the odds-on favourites to sign him at 10/11, with Manchester City second-favorites at 21/10.
City boss Pep Guardiola has made no secret of his desire to be reunited with his former Barcelona team-mate but with the £100m rival of Jack Grealish from Aston Villa and their interest in £150m Harry Kane, could see Messi join PSG instead.
Betfair spokesperson Sam Rosbottom said: ‘The big transfer news just keeps on coming and all eyes are back on the future of Lionel Messi following the confirmation that he won’t be signing a new deal with Barcelona.
‘Reports last summer suggested that Manchester City were very close to signing him, and they are currently second-favourites at 21/10 to secure the services of the six-time Ballon d’Or winner.
‘However, it is French side PSG who are the odds-on favourites to sign him at 10/11, while Manchester United are outsiders at 18/1.’
Barca insists both they and Messi were willing to extend his stay, but claim La Liga regulations have made that impossible.
A statement on the Catalan giants’ official website said: ‘Despite FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi has reached an agreement and the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today, this cannot happen because of financial and structural obstacles (Spanish Liga regulations).
‘As a result of this situation, Messi shall not be staying on at FC Barcelona.’
Messi made 778 appearances for Barcelona, scoring 672 goals which have helped to secure 10 league titles, four Champions Leagues and three Club World Cups among his haul of 35 trophies.