Lionel Messi has told Barcelona he wants to quit the Camp Nou and is ready to terminate his contract at the club.
According to TyC Sports, Messi sent a fax to his club to inform them he wants out and will use a clause in his contract to terminate his current deal which still has a year left to run.
Alfredo Martínez at Spanish radio station Onda Cero added that Messi’s decision is final and that he will not be at the club later this week for PCR testing and the start of pre-season training.
Barcelona have confirmed they have received Messi’s fax and have convened an emergency board meeting to discuss the situation, according to RAC1.
It is the club’s understanding that the clause in Messi’s contract allowing him to terminate his contract expired in June. Indeed journalist Veronica Brunati has reported Barcelona are so firm in their belief they could even take Messi to court.
Messi does have a buyout clause in his contract, but it is set at €700 million.
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Messi Sends Shockwaves Around Football World
Messi’s decision to leave Barcelona will send shockwaves around the football world given his long association with the club. The forward was been at the Camp Nou since the age of 13 and has enjoyed huge success, winning 10 league titles and the Champions League four times.
Yet signs of Messi frustration with Barcelona have been growing all season. He hit out at former sporting director Eric Abidal in February and also released a strongly-worded statement when announcing players would be taking a pay-cut during the coronavirus crisis.
Messi called his team “erratic and weak” after they lost their league title to Real Madrid, while the club’s 8-2 thrashing by Bayern Munich in the Champions League might have been the final straw.
Where Will Messi Go?
There are not many clubs in the world that can afford Messi which makes speculation about where he will head next tricky. However, outlets in Argentina are already trying their best to find his next destination.
One possible option is a move to Manchester City to link up with former boss Pep Guardiola. The Citizens have already been trying to work out if they can afford to land the Argentine, according to ESPN’s Moises Llorens and Rodrigo Faez.
French champions Paris Saint-Germain are also an option which would see Messi link up with former team-mate Neymar. Manager Thomas Tuchel has already said the forward would be welcome in Paris.
“He [Messi] is very welcome! We lost lots of players for this campaign only and we lose now Thiago Silva and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting. We need to use the transfer window now to make the squad wider. The campaign will be very demanding without any breaks. We need to build a strong, strong squad.”
Messi and the watching world will now wait to see how Barcelona will respond to the Argentine’s bombshell as a traumatic 2020 for the Catalan giants shows no sign of ending.