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Lionel Messi officially leaves Barcelona

Lionel Messi officially leaves Barcelona

Messi leaves Barcelona after 17 years with first team

Barcelona have confirmed that Lionel Messi has formally left the club due to financial and structural obstacles.

The Catalan giants had to reduce their wage bill by €200 million before they could renew Messi's contract.

Earlier last month, it was claimed that Messi had agreed a new five-year deal after accepting a 50 per cent pay cut.

However, the club have been unable to lower their wage bill to meet the new La Liga salary cap, and can't register Messi.

Messi, who has been a free-agent since July 1, is now expected to play away from Barcelona for the first time.

There are no favourites to sign him, but reports claim that Paris Saint-Germain could revive their long-term interest.

Manchester City were heavily linked with his services last summer, and it remains to be seen whether they return for him.

They recently made a huge £100m outlay to sign Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish, but are still searching for an elite striker.