Six-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi has dropped a massive bombshell, reportedly telling Barcelona that he wants to leave the club and terminate his contract.
Messi, 33, has spent his entire professional career with Barcelona, scoring over 600 goals and winning ten league titles and four Champions Leagues.
However in the past couple of seasons cracks have started to appear in the relationship between Messi and the club, following high-profile exits in the Champions League. Messi had become more outspoken than ever, willing to criticise senior club figures as well as his own team-mates.
He reportedly was considering his future but manager Quique Setien was fired and his successor Ronald Koeman was announced. Koeman and Messi reportedly spoke on the phone where the new manager told him that the team has to come first and there can be no preferential treatment. Messi reportedly told Koeman on that occasion that he saw his future away from Barcelona.
Messi has now firmly decided that he wants to leave the club and has reportedly informed them of his decision via fax. It is a burofax which is a letter that has to be signed for which informs the sender that the recipient got the letter. The news, reported by several outlets in Spain and Argentina, comes shortly after it was reported that Koeman and Barcelona have told Messi’s close friend Luis Suarez that he will have his contract torn up by the club.
Messi reportedly wants to invoke a clause in his contract that allows him to leave unilaterally this summer. The clause was believed to have expired in June but could be extended due to the prolongation of the season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Reports in Spain are now suggesting that the Barcelona board are having an emergency meeting following this development.
Given Messi’s astronomical wages there aren’t many clubs who could afford to sign him.
Manchester City, managed by Messi’s former boss Pep Guardiola, are one of the options whilst recent reports have suggested local rivals Manchester United are also interested.
Serie A side Inter Milan have a long-held interest in signing Messi and might be players whilst PSG are a logical destination as a team who could certainly afford to sign him.