Transfer: Messi to address Barcelona fans from Camp Nou Sunday

Transfer: Messi to address Barcelona fans from Camp Nou Sunday
Lionel Messi

Argentine star, Lionel Messi will address Barcelona fans in a live press conference on Sunday in the club's Auditori 1899, an official statement said.

This would be his first public comment since Barca announced his departure on Thursday night, bringing an end to his 21-year stay at the Blaugrana.

The 34-year-old will take questions from the press at noon (1000 GMT), Barcelona said in a statement, adding that the conference will be broadcast live with English translation on Barça TV+.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta said on Friday he was not prepared "to put the club at risk" by renewing Messi's contract, as the club face up to huge financial problems ahead of the start of La Liga on August 15, AFP reports.

Laporta said Barcelona were no longer negotiating with Messi and the Argentine forward was considering other offers.

He added that "Leo wanted to stay at Barça and we wanted him to stay" reiterated the president. "He did everything he could to stay. His wish to stay was the first step to ensuring we could find the right way. We must thank everyone who has been negotiating between the club and the player. Leo deserves everything. He has demonstrated his love for the club."

PSG, who bought Neymar from Barcelona for a world-record 222 million euros ($264 million) in 2017, appear favourites to sign Messi according to reports in France.

Broadcaster RMC Sport reported that Messi has informed PSG of his desire to join the club and that discussions were ongoing over a two-year deal with the option of a third season.