Official: PSG announce Messi signing

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Lionel Messi has officially joined Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer following his departure from Barcelona.

The six-time Ballon d’Or winner arrived in Paris on Tuesday afternoon to seal his move to the French club on a two-year deal – with an option for a third – worth £25m per year after tax, plus bonuses.

“I am excited to begin a new chapter of my career at Paris Saint-Germain,” said Messi in a statement on the club’s website.

Messi will wear the number 30 as revealed in a video by the club, the number he had when he began his professional career at Barcelona between 2004-2006.

“Everything about the club matches my football ambitions,” Messi, who was given a hero’s welcome by the PSG fans when he arrived in the French capital, added.

“I know how talented the squad and the coaching staff are here. I am determined to help build something special for the club and the fans, and I am looking forward to stepping out onto the pitch at the Parc des Princes.”

READ ALSO: “I did everything to stay”, tearful Messi speaks on Barcelona exit

Messi – who will receive a £25m signing-on fee as part of the move – was set to extend his 21-year stay at Barcelona by signing a new five-year deal this summer.

However, the club announced on Thursday that “financial and structural obstacles” meant the deal could not be completed, meaning Messi left as a free agent.

The 34-year-old said he wanted to stay at Barcelona and “did everything” he could to remain at the club, including agreeing to a 50-per-cent wage cut.

The move enables Messi to link up again with Neymar, a former Barcelona teammate who has been working to convince the Argentinian to join him in Paris, and gives PSG attacking options of Messi, Neymar, Kylian Mbappé and Ángel Di María.

On Tuesday Neymar posted “Back together” on Instagram above a montage of his and Messi’s best goals and assists from their time together at Barcelona.

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