Lionel Messi could be handed the No. 19 shirt at Paris Saint-Germain after he tearfully confirmed his exit from Barcelona.
Messi confirmed he will end his 20-year association with Barca after a trophy-laden spell at his boyhood club and is now available for absolutely nothing.
It is understood the six-time Ballon d’Or winner, who turned 34 in June, will complete his medical early next week before signing a two-year contract with the Ligue 1 giants, according to reports in France.
“It is a possibility, but I have not agreed anything with anyone,” he told reporters at a press conference in Catalonia on Sunday. “I have got different clubs interested.
“Nothing is definitive but clearly we are talking to them.”
However, it seems it may already be a foregone conclusion, if transfer guru Julien Maynard‘s social media activity is anything to go by.
“Paris SG has launched the Messi plan,” Maynard wrote on Twitter. “In one day, the positions of PSG and those of Leo Messi’s entourage have come closer, to such an extent that the capital club is very optimistic about the Argentine’s coming to Paris tonight!
In a follow-up tweet, he added: “Informed several weeks ago of the difficulties of Barca to extend his contract, Neymar has told his friend Messi that he should join him in Paris.
“After refusing the number 10, as revealed by several reports, Messi plans to wear a number for PSG with which he played for Bacça and for the Argentina team: the 19.”
With the transfer not yet officially announced, he later covered himself, saying: “There is also talk of number 22, but Messi’s preference is 19.”
Maynard, a contributor for Telefoot, also confirmed reports that Neymar offered his shirt number to Messi, but he turned down the offer.
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Messi, 34, wore No.19 during his first couple of years at Camp Nou, where he was involved in 33 goals in 73 games.
The No. 19 shirt is currently occupied by Spanish right-winger Pablo Sarabia, but it’s unlikely he will want to stand in the way of one of the greatest players of all time.
The report also claims the 34-year-old is close to relocating from Catalonia to the French capital.
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“I’m so grateful for the love that everyone’s shown me, for all my team-mates, and the club being by my side,” Messi said. “Today I have to say goodbye to all this.
“I arrived when I was very young, 13 years old, and after 21 years I am leaving with my wife and three Catalan-Argentine children.
“I cannot be more proud of everything I did and lived in this city. I have no doubt that, after a few years away, we will return because it is our home.”
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