The Spanish giants confirmed on Thursday that their iconic captain, record appearance-maker and record goalscorer is unable to extend his stay at the club due to "financial and structural obstacles".
Messi was willing to take a 50% pay cut to remain at the club he was represented his entire career, but La Liga's salary rules - coupled with Barcelona's dire financial state - made a renewal impossible.
Attention has now turned to which club Messi could join next, with the 34-year-old understood to be eager to remain at the highest level for at least two more years.
PSG are the early favourites with the bookmakers, speculation which was fuelled by a recent Instagram post by Angel di Maria which pictured Messi alongside a number of the French club's players, including Neymar.
However, PSG already have a number of high-earners on their books, including Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, making it difficult to meet Financial Fair Play regulations should they sign Messi as well.
The option of another U-turn which would see Messi stay at Barcelona after all is the second favourite, while Premier League champions Manchester City are also understood to be in contention.
Messi enjoyed the most prolific spell of his career under current Man City boss Pep Guardiola at Barcelona, although the English outfit are understood to be closing in on a £100m deal for Jack Grealish which could affect their ability to sign Messi too.
A switch to the MLS has also been mooted, although Messi reportedly does not want to consider that until later in his career. body check tags ::