Messi at PSG to sign reported ‘£1m-a-week’ deal
Lionel Messi: change of club (pic: SNS Group)
Lionel Messi has arrived in Paris to sign a two-year deal with Paris Saint-Germain believed to be worth £1 million-per-week.
The Argentine player’s lawyers are said to have spent the last few days scrutinising the contract and finalising issues around the six-time Ballon d’Or winner’s image rights, as well as the breakdown of his wages and various bonuses.
A news conference will take place in the auditorium of the Parc des Princes on Wednesday at 10:00 BST.
Messi’s annual salary will be in the region of €63m (£53m), putting him in France’s highest tax bracket of 45%, leaving his take-home pay at about £550,000 per week.
His switch to the French capital followed a tearful farewell from Barcelona after the Spanish club conceded it could not afford to keep him as they are above the wage cap for LaLiga this season, even without him.
Messi has spent 21 years at the club after being signed to the academy as a child following his move from his native Argentina. During that time he made 778 appearances for the club and has won almost every prize in the game. He won the Ballon d’Or a record six times and lifted 35 trophies with the Catalan club.
Read also: Ex-Rangers chief Green handed £6.39m payout
Barcelona, however, are said to have amassed a debt pile of more than £700 million in the process of building one of the best teams the game has produced.
Now the French hope that in his two years the 34-year-old Messi will spark a transform the domestic league and prompt a boom in income from television rights.
Mauricio Pochettino’s PSG finished second to Lille in Ligue 1 last season and Messi is seen as a boost in the Paris team’s hopes of dominating the game. PSG are yet to win the Champions League in a decade of Qatari ownership.
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas told French sports newspaper L’Equipe: “It’ll be fantastic for us all. For the TV rights and the general marketing value of Ligue 1, it would undeniably be a plus.”