Lionel Messi to Paris Saint-Germain: Live news updates, rumors as ex-Barcelona star agrees to PSG move

Lionel Messi has bid farewell to Barcelona after a tearful press conference at Camp Nou which saw teammates past and present attend an emotionally-charged even with the Argentina international's mammoth trophy haul on display and heartbroken fans in the streets outside.

Paris Saint-Germain have now reached an agreement with the 34-year-old according to Fabrizio Romano, after Barca's financial difficulties scuppered a previously agreed five-year contract extension due to La Liga's strict salary cap rules which dictated that the new deal could not be signed. Messi's previous contract expired at the end of June.

"After 21 years I am leaving," said Messi. "I cannot tell you that in a few years we will not come back because this is our home. I have promised my children that. So many beautiful things have happened, some bad, but all of this helped me to grow and improve and make me the person I am.

"The truth is that this is very difficult for me. I spent my whole life here, I was not really prepared. It is our home, we always overcame our well-being and it is our home.

"I gave everything for this club and I leave happy with my work for the club. I would have liked to say goodbye in a different way. I never imagined my last day -- I would have liked to do it with fans on the pitch. I would have loved to hear a last ovation from them."

Barca president Joan Laporta revealed on Friday that the club would have been spending 110 percent of their annual revenue on player salaries if they had kept Messi, despite the significantly reduced rate of his previously agreed five-year deal. 

Agreeing to La Liga's proposed sale of a 10 percent stake in the competition to private equity firm CVC would have allowed Barca to keep their greatest ever player but they are refusing to back that deal.

Laporta was keen to lay the blame for the club's financial chaos at the door of his predecessor Josep Maria Bartomeu and revealed that Barcelona are on course to loss nearly $600 million for the 2020-21 season. 

As of Sunday afternoon, as reported by Fabrizio Romano, Messi is set to join PSG after Jorge Messi received the official contract the same morning after talks since Thursday with the six-time Ballon d'Or winner ready to accept the Ligue 1 giants' proposal once the last few details have been settled.

This is the latest chapter in a saga that began a year ago when Messi first revealed he wanted to leave the only club he'd ever played for

Although he ultimately relented on taking Barcelona to court in order to get out of the last year of his contract, he contractual situation was never fully settled. 

Although it seemed as though the election of Laporta to return to Barcelona as president made it likely Messi would stay, the details were never completely ironed out and now, it seems, La Liga rules continue to stand in the way.

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Here. We. Go.

Our own Fabrizio Romano is reporting that Lionel Messi to PSG is now a done deal and that the Argentine will soon fly to Paris from Barcelona to sign his two-year contract with an option for an additional one. The 34-year-old will earn $41 million net per season and the agreement is now total. Messi is heading to Parc des Princes. 

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The Latest news on Lionel Messi's schedule for arriving at PSG

According to Guillem Balague the plan is for Messi to take his medical today with his official unveiling coming Wednesday. Though that leaves time for PSG to officially announce that the worlds biggest soccer superstar plays for Paris Saint-Germain sometime later Tuesday after all the official hurdles have been cleared.

August 10, 2021, 12:22 PM
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Meanwhile in Spain

August 10, 2021, 12:19 PM
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Lionel Messi's wife posts on Instagram

It's all pretty clear at this point as Antonela Roccuzzo posts about the "new adventure"

Antonella Roccrruzo Instagram
August 10, 2021, 12:15 PM
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How will PSG set up with Messi?

Amid all the big picture questions, it's also important to remember that there are still matches to be played and Messi is going to have to fit into a lineup with a whole bunch of superstar teammates that already exist at PSG (and were Champions League semifinalists last season). Or, rather, they will all have to exist with him How, exactly will the side line up? Jonathan Johnson took a look at a handful of formations that boss Mauricio Pochettino might be tempted to experiment with

"Should PSG confirm his signature, the most likely scenario is that Messi comes into the Parisian attack and either occupies one of two advanced attacking roles with Mbappe to one side and Neymar tucked in behind, or that the French and Brazilian superstars flank Messi instead and allow him to withdraw to pick up the ball.

A 4-2-3-1 has been Pochettino's default shape so far since his return to the club as head coach at the start of this year, but neither Mbappe nor Neymar will be ideal to play at the point of such a system with Messi central and an aging Di Maria to also consider out wide.

The need for a combative midfielder could also see Leandro Paredes deployed instead of Di Maria or Wijnaldum although Idrissa Gueye is unlikely to be technical enough to merit regular starts."

CBS Sports

August 10, 2021, 11:07 AM
Aug. 10, 2021, 7:07 am EDT
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Lionel Messi and Ligue 1

There are a million different things to analyze about Messi's move to PSG, but one thing which shouldn't go under the radar is just how critically important this move might be for not just Paris Saint-Germain, but French football as a whole. It's been a desperately difficult time for Ligue 1 as the combination of the coronavirus pandemic cratering matchday revenue and the collapse of the league's domestic TV deal last season has left French football struggling to generate revenue with many teams looking to sell stars and struggling to stay afloat. As Jonathan John writes, however, Messi brings tremendous attention to the league, and hopefully a way for all of French football to return to more stable financial ground.

"That the likes of Messi, Ramos, Donnarumma, Wijnaldum and Hakimi all arrive at this moment is significant as Ligue 1 has never been weaker -- at least not in an economic sense -- with domestic television rights obliterated and matchday revenue only just set to return post-COVID-19.

With the collapse of Mediapro's $914 million per year deal (for 80% of rights), Amazon's subsequent entry into the market at $305 million per year (also 80% of games) and the legal sparring between Canal+ and Qatar-backed beIN Sports over their $390 million contract (for the two remaining matches), the value of French top-flight soccer has plummeted exponentially.

Despite Lille OSC's unexpected, but deserved, 2020-21 title success, interest in Ligue 1 is lower than ever -- particularly in France itself due to the apathy created by the financial struggle and the exorbitant prices demanded to simply access all of the domestic action from home.

Until now, that is. With Messi coming to Ligue 1, France suddenly boasts arguably the top three players in the world at present with Neymar and Mbappe already in Paris and star talents in pretty much every other position across the pitch."

August 10, 2021, 11:01 AM
Aug. 10, 2021, 7:01 am EDT
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Lionel Messi, Jack Grealish and the pain of leaving

Fans of Barcelona and Aston Villa have something in common this summer. They're both dealing with the pain of seeing a player they've seen grown up leave. They may be at different points in their careers, and the reasons may be different but as Luis Miguel Echegaray writes, the pain of losing a player like that is the same no matter what.

"Barça fans are crying outside the gates of Camp Nou, not just because their greatest ever player has left, but because their relationship is over. The kid from Rosario who became a child of Catalonia is now gone, and it wasn't even his decision. That's what hurts the most. When your own story is not even determined by your decisions, but by those of an employer who has their eyes on something else. It's something uniquely anti-football and a stark reminder that even when you're Lionel freaking Messi, some parts of your story are outside your own control 

This piece, however, is less an explanation of the events (better people than me can give you more context) but more about the bond between lifelong player and fan. When Francesco Totti left Roma - the only club he had ever known - after 30 years, fans all over Stadio Olimpico couldn't stop crying. They turned into lost children because their hero had fallen. 

"This is far worse than retiring as a player," said Totti. "Leaving Roma is like dying. I feel like it'd be better if I died."

To anyone who knows this story, you know he was not kidding. An amplification of emotion? Maybe. But the club for a lifelong player is not a club, it's a family, your blood, your soul. When that's taken from you, the outcome might not be death, but it's understandable that for Tottie, and players like him it feels like it.. For the supporter, this is also true and even though the club continues without them, like family, everybody forever recalls the member who is no longer there."

August 10, 2021, 9:53 AM
Aug. 10, 2021, 5:53 am EDT
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Messi latest as talks continue

Speculation over Lionel Messi's future continued overnight with wild claims that Barca had launched a last-ditch offensive to keep him at Camp Nou. However, this Tuesday morning, those claims were denied by a club source to Guillem Balague while Fabrizio Romano has reiterated that there is "no new bid" from the Catalans.

Romano added that "patience" is the key word with "every detail" of the agreement needed to be signed off on before the 34-year-old can travel to Paris with a plethora of details and clauses in the contract which was only put in front of Messi, his father Jorge and their lawyers 48 hours ago.

Balague added that reports in Spain indicate that the last few details mainly concern image rights and wages with both correspondents unanimous in that PSG are keen to complete the deal as quickly as possible.

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Lionel Messi still at home

While everybody waits with bated breath for Lionel Messi's next move, the superstar remains at home as he contemplates his next move according to Fabrizio Romano.

Meanwhile in Paris folks are lining up in excitement following rumors that the man himself was in bound hoping to welcome him to the airport. As certainty around the move increases and the time until it's completed seems to be measured in days, if not hours, PSG fans are working themselves into a fevered pitch over the arrival of the Argentine superstar.

August 9, 2021, 2:56 PM
Aug. 09, 2021, 10:56 am EDT
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Parc des Princes capacity boost

Although any potential PSG arrival is yet to be made official, if it were to happen before this coming weekend, the French giants would be in a position to present Messi to a capacity Parc des Princes crowd for the Ligue 1 clash with Strasbourg after the capital club were given the green light to reopen at 100%. PSG's spiritual home is nearly 50,000 in terms of capacity and with the club's Ultras in attendance, the Argentine would be afforded the sort of welcome befitting his legendary status.

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Inside the Lionel Messi, Barcelona breakup

For a behind the scenes look at exactly what went down between Messi and Barcelona make sure to check out a special Here We Go column this week from Fabrizio Romano, as he traces how Messi's deal with Barcelona went from all but done, to an impossibility in a matter of days. 

"Messi had his Barcelona contract ready to put pen to paper as of last Thursday at the Camp Nou and did not anticipate the incredible U-turn on his situation. Even Barça had schedule a special announcement for Thursday at 8:45 p.m., with the two parties ready to announce to the world a contract renewal until June 30, 2026 with the Blaugrana side. Instead, what we got was the two parties still blocked by La Liga rules what was a concluded and completed agreement.

When the news reached Messi and his father Jorge Messi, they were described as surprised, amazed and even incredulous. But they appreciated the honesty of Barça  president Joan Laporta, who communicated to them that they could no longer put up a fight to keep his wages at the club based on these rules, as Messi confirmed Sunday morning in what was a surreal farewell press conference at Camp Nou. Indeed, there's still excellent relations but bittersweet disappointment for not being able to continue this partnership together for a few years as planned."

August 9, 2021, 9:46 AM
Aug. 09, 2021, 5:46 am EDT
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Further Barca blow

The club just cannot catch a break right now with Sergio Aguero's latest scan showing that he is unlikely to be available to play for at least another 10 weeks, as confirmed by Barca. The Argentina international's registration could now be in doubt as they struggle to adhere to La Liga's strict salary cap limits. Despite Messi's permanent departure, the club still needs to free up more wage space with Samuel Umtiti booed during the Gamper Trophy after summer reports that his contract is one of the big ones that Barca are struggling to shift.

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Inside Messi-PSG contract talks, Barcelona exit

In a special Here We Go insider notebook, CBS Sports soccer insider and transfer specialist Fabrizio Romano gives you a behind-the-scenes look on how Lionel Messi got away from Barca and how PSG, in the matter of hours, swooped in to land the Argentine superstar. READ HERE.

• On Thursday at 8:45 p.m. local time, Barcelona had plans to announce Messi's contract renewal

• Instead, shortly after 7:45 p.m. local time, Barcelona announced Messi's exit. 

• At approximately 9 p.m., not even two hours later, Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo Araújo made contact with Jorge Messi and Leo's lawyers.

There's plenty of fascinating nuggets from Romano's reporting, so make sure you read it all HERE.

August 8, 2021, 6:49 PM
Aug. 08, 2021, 2:49 pm EDT
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Messi posts emotional message 

Lionel Messi also took to social media (Instagram) to post another emotional goodbye message just hours after his tear-jerking press conference at Camp Nou.

In English:

"I have only words of thanks for everyone who has accompanied me during so many years at the club. And for our fans, who gave m all of their love and to whom I tried to return it by giving everything I had for this shirt. I'm leaving, but don't consider this a goodbye, just a see-you-later. Visca el Barça!!!"


"Me hubiera gustado irme de otra manera aunque supongo que nunca una despedida puede ser algo lindo… Me habría encantado seguir acá, lo hice todo con ese objetivo y al final no se dio. Solo tengo palabras de agradecimiento para todos los que me acompañaron en tantos años en el club. Y para nuestra afición, que me dieron todo su cariño y que intenté devolvérselo dando yo también todo por esta camiseta. Me voy pero no es un adiós, solo un hasta luego. Visca el Barça!!!"

August 8, 2021, 5:44 PM
Aug. 08, 2021, 1:44 pm EDT
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Laporta gives his goodbye

Joan Laporta, Barcelona president, took to social media on Sunday, hours after Lionel Messi's tearful press conference to bid his farewell to the Argentine legend.

August 8, 2021, 5:40 PM
Aug. 08, 2021, 1:40 pm EDT
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¡Qué Golazo! weighs in on Messi latest news

Fabrizio Romano joins Jonathan Johnson to discuss how Lionel Messi has moved to the brink of joining PSG as a free agent. Fabrizio and Jonathan also discuss the potential impact of Messi joining Paris Saint-Germain on Kylian Mbappe and a possible move to Major League Soccer down the road. The guys also dissect Romelu Lukaku's Chelsea return, what it could mean for Tammy Abraham and the possibility of Harry Kane being the next domino to fall.

August 8, 2021, 5:16 PM
Aug. 08, 2021, 1:16 pm EDT
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Transfer dominoes begin to fall

As Paris Saint-Germain prepare to swoop in for Lionel Messi, we're starting to see other teams become active in the transfer market.

As reported by CBS Sports soccer insider and transfer specialist Fabrizio Romano: Chelsea have an agreement for Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku, which is set to be completed after further talks. Inter will receive just over $135 million. No players included in this deal. Paperwork to be signed once details are finalized. Once that's done, Lukaku will sign a long-term contract for $14.2 million, plus add ons.

How will Inter replace Lukaku? Romano reports that the club is in talks with AS Roma to sign Edin Dzeko as their new striker as personal terms have been agreed on a two-year contract. The clubs in direct contact to reach an agreement. 

As for Jose Mourinho's AS Roma, Romano reports that they are already looking for a potential replacement for Dzeko in case the deal goes through.

Meanwhile, Gary Jacob of The Sunday Times in the U.K. reports that Tottenham Hotspur have agreed a fee for Inter Milan's Lautaro Martinez worth in excess of $83.2 million, beating off interest from Arsenal.

What does this mean for Harry Kane and his request to leave Spurs? Stay tuned ...

August 8, 2021, 12:11 PM
Aug. 08, 2021, 8:11 am EDT
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Messi to Paris a done deal?

According to French journalist Julien Laurens, minutes after the Barcelona press conference, Lionel Messi's transfer (on a free, mind you) to Paris Saint-Germain is "done." Laurens says he'll have a medical Sunday night or Monday morning in Paris before putting pen to paper on a new contract.

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August 8, 2021, 11:57 AM
Aug. 08, 2021, 7:57 am EDT
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There's still Joan Gamper Trophy match tonight!

Reminder that the Joan Gamper Trophy match tonight against Juventus was supposed to be the place where Lionel Messi addressed the Barcelona faithful and announced his renewal with the club. We were supposed to be treated to Messi vs. Ronaldo one more time. Dest vs. McKennie. Instead, we got the surreal scenes from the press conference earlier on Sunday.

Nonetheless, there's still a game to be played where Barca will likely field some of their new signings (Memphis Depay) that might not yet be registered in La Liga due to their financial state. Here's how you can watch

August 8, 2021, 11:51 AM
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Surreal scenes

August 8, 2021, 10:52 AM
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Messi ends press conference with a bang

Press conference ends as Messi is once again showered with applauses from the reporters, friends and family members in attendance.

Last question asked was "Have you felt anybody lied to you?" 

"We all tried our best and it was not possible. I was always honest to the fans and never lied. When one does not talk a lot, people says a lot of things on my behalf, but there are lot of lies told."


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August 8, 2021, 10:46 AM
Aug. 08, 2021, 6:46 am EDT
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Messi on trying to stay by lowering his salary

"I had lowered my salary by 50% and then nothing was asked of me anymore. We did everything possible. What I read that I was asked for 30% more is a lie. There are many things that are not true. they asked for nothing more."  

August 8, 2021, 10:42 AM
Aug. 08, 2021, 6:42 am EDT
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On Barcelona debt

August 8, 2021, 10:38 AM
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Messi: I want to win trophies

Messi: "People here know me -- I want more trophies, I want to overtake my friend Daniel Alves who just won another medal at the Olympics"

"I want to win another Champions League."

"[We could've won] The semifinal vs. Liverpool, the semifinal vs. Chelsea with Pep. I have no regrets, always gave everything, but we had a generation when we could have won more Champions Leagues."

August 8, 2021, 10:36 AM
Aug. 08, 2021, 6:36 am EDT
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What to make of the Ibiza photo with PSG players?

"It was pure coincidence. I was going to meet [Leo] Paredes and [Angel] Di Maria. Ney called me, come over. And I said, I am with Paredes and Di Maria. Come over all of you, Ney said. We took the photo, they kept telling me, come over to PSG and we joked, that was all"

August 8, 2021, 10:35 AM
Aug. 08, 2021, 6:35 am EDT
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Will Messi ever return to Barca?

Messi: "Yeah, but it wouldn't be the same. The moment is now, when it is time to go. Obviously, for these people I am available for anything. Honestly, yes."   

August 8, 2021, 10:29 AM
Aug. 08, 2021, 6:29 am EDT
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What will Barcelona look like without Messi?

Messi on how he envisions Barcelona without him: 

"Barca are biggest club in the world, a marvelous squad. The people with get used to me not being here. Players come and go, just like [Joan] Laporta said, the club is bigger than any individual. The fans will get used to it, as they always do. Many players arrived this summer, they've got a great squad. Everything will fall in place."   

August 8, 2021, 10:28 AM
Aug. 08, 2021, 6:28 am EDT
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Messi and his wife

Antonella Rocuzzo, Lionel Messi's wife, holding his hand as he struggles for words and is overcome with emotion.

Getty Images
August 8, 2021, 10:26 AM
Aug. 08, 2021, 6:26 am EDT
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Messi speaks on PSG rumors

Lionel Messi was asked about Paris Saint-Germain link: "It's a possibility, but today, at this time, there's nothing in place with anybody. When the press release was published, I had a lot of calls and interested clubs. Nothing is agreed upon but obviously we're talking."  

August 8, 2021, 10:23 AM
Aug. 08, 2021, 6:23 am EDT
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Did Barcelona do everything to keep you?

Messi: "(Do you think Barcelona did everything to keep you?) I don't know, what I have very clear is that I did everything I could. From my side, I did everything to stay, that is what I wanted"  

August 8, 2021, 10:21 AM
Aug. 08, 2021, 6:21 am EDT
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