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Lionel Messi's first suitors 'make contact' as scramble to secure free transfer begins

Lionel Messi has made contact with his potential next club after his time at Barcelona came to an end.

The Argentine will not be playing for his boyhood team next season in a shocking turn of events in the footballing world.

On Thursday night, Barcelona released a statement revealing how their talisman will no longer be employed by them.

It follows months of confusion where Messi's contract actually expired at the end of June.

Since then, he has been a free agent but the six-time Ballon d'Or winner had penned a new deal.

Against Barcelona's mounting debts, it meant nothing as La Liga banned the club from registering new players due to their ballooning wage bill.

It means Messi is free to speak to other clubs and one has taken the initiative by reaching out almost immediately.

According to Di Marzio, PSG have made contact with the 34-year-old over a free transfer that will see him join for nothing.

Messi has always been keen on reuniting with Neymar and tried to entice Barcelona into bringing the Brazilian back last summer.

Their lack of funds left them struggling to even begin to think about signing the trickster back but a reunion now looks on the cards.

However, this time the pair will be playing in the blue and red of Paris - not Barcelona.

"Both parties deeply regret that the wishes of the player and the club will ultimately not be fulfilled," Barcelona said.

Messi has always wanted to reunite with Neymar (REUTERS)

"Despite FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi having reached an agreement and the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today, this cannot happen because of financial and structural obstacles [Spanish La Liga regulations].

"FC Barcelona wholeheartedly expresses its gratitude to the player for his contribution to the aggrandisement of the club and wishes him all the very best for the future in his personal and professional life."

Messi is Barcelona's best-ever player and has scored a record 672 goals for them, winning 10 La Liga titles, four Champions Leagues and seven Copa del Reys.

New Barca president Joan Laporta made keeping the main man a priority and had got him to agree to a 50 per cent pay cut.

But with the club on the verge of bankruptcy, the finances simply would not allow Messi to stay at the Nou Camp - with them still needing to trim hundreds of millions from their outgoings.

The decision comes nearly a year after a similar saga where Messi told Barcelona he wanted to leave only for the club to deny him a departure.

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Soccer-Messi to leave Barcelona due to 'financial obstacles' -club statement
Six-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi will leave Barcelona despite both parties having reached an agreement over a new contract, the La Liga club said on Thursday, citing economic and structural obstacles to the renewal of the deal.