Messi in contact with PSG manager Pochettino amidst transfer rumours

FC Barcelona has decided to let Lionel Messi leave for free after 21 years at the Catalonian side due to the club's financial crisis.

If PSG was to sign Messi, he would be reunited with former Barcelona forward Neymar and would also be the latest free arrival at the French club this offseason   -  AP

Barcelona's announcement that Lionel Messi would be leaving the club set Paris Saint-Germain scrambling to figure out if it could sign the most desired free agent in football history.

Messi called PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino, who is also from Argentina, on Thursday, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press.

READ | Disbelief in Argentina as Messi to leave Barcelona

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss private discussions.

The person said PSG is assessing the potential revenue that could be generated by signing Messi while also paying him a huge salary and complying with football's financial regulations.

Funded for a decade by Qatari sovereign wealth, PSG is one of the few clubs in the world that can afford the 34-year-old Messi's salary.

He was set to make about 70 million euros per year under his new Barcelona contract, but it was never signed.

If PSG was to sign Messi, he would be reunited with former Barcelona forward Neymar and would also be the latest free arrival at the French club this offseason, following Gianluigi Donnarumma, Sergio Ramos and Georginio Wijnaldum.

Manchester City, which is owned by the Abu Dhabi royal family, may have the desire and connections to sign Messi.

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But reuniting him with former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola could be complicated financially with the Premier League champions breaking the British transfer record on Thursday by signing Jack Grealish for 100 million pounds ($140 million).

Barcelona said Thursday that despite reaching an agreement with Messi on the new terms, La Liga intervened because the club would not be complying with salary cap regulations.

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