Messi is set to join Paris Saint-Germain after officially leaving Barcelona, where he spent 21 years and still is living for the time being following the news that shocked the world of football
Thousands of Paris Saint-Germain fans were left disappointed on Monday as Lionel Messi failed to arrive in the French capital ahead of his transfer.
Messi officially left Barcelona last week following the expiration of his contract and the club’s inability to renew his deal thanks to the stringent financial regulations of La Liga.
PSG have, unsurprisingly, been the firm favourites to snap up the six-time Ballon d’Or winner.
As well as their summer which has seen Sergio Ramos, Achraf Hakimi, Georginio Wijnaldum and Gianluigi Donnarumma join the likes of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe at the Parc des Princes, their Qatar-based budget and Argentine manager stand out as obvious factors to boot.
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Thousands of supporters had gathered under the impression that Messi would arrive in Paris following his emotional goodbye in a press conference on Sunday but he remains in Catalonia.
The 34-year-old was even spotted at his house by cameras crews on Monday, looking relaxed in his swimming trunks.
Having wanted to stay at the Nou Camp, it has been a bittersweet summer for Messi, who finally lifted the Copa America with Argentina.
Pochettino will be hoping to land his man as soon as possible in order to wrestle back the Ligue 1 title after Lille surprisingly won it last season, following his team’s hard-fought opening day victory over Troyes coming this past weekend.
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Speaking post-match, Pochettino said: “Messi is one of the best players in history and every coach dreams of coaching the best.
“Today, with social networks, everyone has access to information and saw that Lionel Messi would not continue at Barcelona.
Pochettino did confirm that Messi is “an option that was being evaluated” by the PSG hierarchy but added: “His name has been associated with different clubs.
“But I believe that the team is professional and has ignored that for this game and and that they will stay focused until the end of the transfer window.”
Granted an extended holiday, former Barca star Neymar wasn’t involved as his side ground out a 2-1 win to kick-off their campaign.
The Brazilian met ex-Nou Camp teammate Messi in the Copa America final over the summer, which Argentina won 1-0.
It is believed Neymar is doing his best to convince the icon to join him in France, even telling ESPN back in December: “What I want most of all is to play with Messi again, to be able to enjoy him once again on the pitch.
“He can play in my place, I have no problem with that,” Neymar admitted.
“But I want to play with him next year, for sure. We have to do it next season.”
Messi tearfully revealed on Sunday: “Honestly, when the elections happened, I spoke with Laporta, we had dinner and after that I was convinced I would be staying.
“My new contract was done. All agreed,” said the Blaugrana’s former No. 10.
“I wanted to stay and when I came back from holidays, it would be finalised.
“It’s exactly how Laporta explained it.
The three-time Champions League winner added: “But at the last minute, with everything with La Liga, it couldn’t happen.”