Lionel Messi has flown into Paris with his wife and children ahead of his medical with Paris Saint-Germain where he will sign a £1million-per-week, two-year deal after leaving cash-strapped Barcelona.
The 34-year-old was pictured at Barcelona airport alongside his wife Antonella and their three children, Thiago, eight, Mateo, five, and Ciro, three.
Antonella later posted a selfie alongside her husband as they sat on their private jet waiting to fly to France.
Messi, pictured at the airport today, will become a PSG player after agreeing a two-year contract to move to France
The 34-year-old attacker was pictured at the airport with wife Antonella and their three children: Thiago, Mateo and Ciro
Messi shared a hug prior to going through airport security as he said his final goodbyes before jetting off to sign his PSG deal
Sources at the French club confirmed Messi’s lawyers had been poring over the contract proposal since Sunday but gave it their approval this morning.
The final points of negotiation were understood to have concerned the six-time Ballon d’Or winners image rights, as well as the breakdown of his wages and various bonuses.
Messi’s annual salary will be in the region of €63m (£53m), putting his earnings at just over £1m a week. He will sit in France’s highest tax bracket of 45 per cent, leaving his take-home pay at around £550,000 per week.
His father, Jorge, today arrived in Paris ahead of his son and fielded questions from reporters having confirmed the deal was done.
Asked who was responsible at Barcelona for allowing their greatest ever player to leave, Jorge Messi replied: ‘You have to ask the club.’
The player’s representatives and Barcelona had earlier moved to dispel reports that the Spanish side made a last ditch bid to keep Messi.
Sources close to negotiations have re-affirmed that Barcelona could not afford to keep Messi even if he stayed for free as, even without him, they are above the wage cap for LaLiga this season. For that reason they did not attempt to persuade Messi to drop his salary.
On Sunday, Messi said a tearful goodbye to his club of 21 years which he had joined as child, being signed to the academy and moving from his native Argentina.
Jorge Messi was mobbed as he arrived at the Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport as he jetted out prior to his son
He scored 672 goals in 778 appearances but Barcelona were unable to hang onto him after falling foul of financial fair play rules set by Spanish league La Liga.
Barcelona blamed the league but are reportedly in debt to the tune of more than £700 million, meaning that Messi’s contract – even with a 50 per cent pay cut – wasn’t in line with the regulations.
Messi had remained at home in Barcelona awaiting the all-clear to travel to Paris ahead of agreeing a two-year deal, with the option of a third. He was seen leaving his home shortly after 1pm local time to go to the airport.
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