Devastated Barcelona fans have gathered outside Lionel Messi’s house after the club’s greatest player’s teary farewell while Paris St Germain supporters eagerly await his arrival in the French capital.
Amid the emotional scenes at Barcelona, one club member filed complaints with a French court and with the European Commission to try to block any move by PSG to sign Messi, according to documents seen by Reuters on Monday.
The Barcelona member’s legal complaints claim that French football authorities have failed to enforce their own financial fair play (FFP) rules in order to help PSG become a force in European football.
The FFP rules notably forbid top European soccer clubs to pay their playing squads an excessive share of their total revenues, according to the complaints, which also state that the transfer of Messi to PSG would breach the code.
Messi on Sunday bid farewell to the club he has spent his entire 21-year career at and confirmed that he was talking with the Paris club over a possible move.
There were no signs of movement around Messi’s house in the hills of the wealthy Barcelona district of Castelldefels on Monday, however, where fans waited to catch a glimpse of the 34-year-old.
Messi said he had agreed to a 50 per cent pay cut in order to stay at Barca and sign a new contract but was unable to finalise the deal due to the Spanish league’s financial control rules and the club’s debts, which total more than €1 billion ($A1.6 billion).
La Liga said last Wednesday it had secured a private equity injection of €2.7 billion ($A4.3 billion) from firm CVC, with the funds to be shared among the clubs in return for ten per cent of the league’s revenue.
It had been believed this would allow Barcelona to get the Messi deal done.
But after Real Madrid rejected the proposal and said they would take legal action against La Liga, Barca also came out against it.
Messi was reportedly set to travel to Paris on Sunday or Monday for a medical and to finalise a deal with the Qatar Sports Investment-owned club PSG.
Spanish newspaper Marca reported that PSG had formally sent their offer to Messi on Sunday morning.
Fans have gathered outside Paris’ Le Bourget airport from the early hours of Monday morning and at PSG’s home stadium Parc des Princes in a bid to catch a sighting of Messi.
“We’re waiting for a legend, the legend that is Leo Messi,” said PSG fan Mehmet Sen, who arrived at Le Bourget airport at 2am local time on Monday for a glimpse of the star.