Lionel Messi, PSG Agree to 2-Year, $104M Contract After Barcelona Exit

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 10, 2021

Argentina's Lionel Messi warms up prior to a Copa America quarterfinal soccer match against Ecuador at the Olimpico stadium in Goiania, Brazil, Saturday, July 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
Andre Penner/Associated Press

Lionel Messi has agreed to a two-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain and will make his move to the French capital official following a shocking exit from Barcelona.

Paris Saint-Germain @PSG_English

A new 💎 in Paris!<br><br>PSGxMESSI ❤️💙 <a href="https://t.co/scrp1su9a6">pic.twitter.com/scrp1su9a6</a>

According to Sky Sports, Messi plans to sign a two-year deal with a net salary of £25 million per season ($34.6 million). The contract also includes a £25 million fee at signing and a third-year option at £25 million.

Fabrizio Romano @FabrizioRomano

Leo’s father Jorge Messi has just confirmed to La Sexta: “Yes, Leo’s gonna sign with Paris Saint-Germain today.”. 🇫🇷✈️ #Messi #PSG @mariagarridos Messi’s camp working directly with PSG to plan for press conference and official unveiling on Wednesday... flying to Paris soon. 🛫

Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens of ESPN reported in July that Messi had agreed to a five-year extension to remain at Barcelona while taking a significant wage reduction. The club wasn't able to fit his contract into its wage limit for 2021-22, however, and it announced on Aug. 5 that Messi would leave after 17 years.

"I am really sad because I didn't want to leave because this is the club I love," he said in a farewell news conference. "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."

Messi noted he offered to reduce his salary by 50 percent, but the club still couldn't make it work financially. It left an opportunity for other teams to add him without having to pay a transfer fee.

Despite obvious interest from top clubs in Europe, Paris Saint-Germain landed Messi to continue an impressive transfer window that also included the additions of Sergio Ramos, Georginio Wijnaldum, Achraf Hakimi and Gianluigi Donnarumma. With Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and fellow Argentine Mauro Icardi among others already on the roster, PSG is the likely favorite for both Ligue 1 and the Champions League.

Messi totaled 30 goals and nine assists in 35 La Liga matches last season. He previously led Barcelona to 10 league titles and four Champions League trophies while winning the Ballon d'Or six times. The 34-year-old won his first major international trophy this summer, leading Argentina to the Copa America title.