Lionel Messi tells Barcelona he wants to leave, but the club argues that it wants to keep him. The Club confirmed on Tuesday that Messi sent a document expressing his desire to leave. Barca sporting director Ramon Planes, however, insisted that the club wants to build the team around Messi.
The club confirmed on Tuesday that the Argentine sent a document expressing his desire to activate a release clause that would end his contract, which currently runs until next June, and allow him to leave for free this summer.
Barcelona do not agree that the clause is still active. It is said to have expired on 10th June-10 days after the original date of the Champions League final on May 30. But Messi’s lawyers are arguing that in the spirit of the deal and good faith, the clause is still active after the rescheduled final on August 23 which was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The declaration comes 11 days after Barcelona’s humiliating 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals, one of the worst defeats in Messi’s career and in the club’s history.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi made his debut for Barca in 2004. Messi joined Barcelona aged 13 from Argentina’s Newell’s Old Boys in 2000 and has since scored a club record 634 goals in 731 appearances. He has won 34 major trophies with the club including 10 La Liga titles and four Champions League trophies.
After the news broke, Barca fans gathered outside the Nou Camp to protest against the board and in support of the club’s record goalscorer.
A legal battle is now set to follow between the club and the player. Even if nothing is agreed with another club right now, even if eventually Barcelona insist he has a 700m euro buy-out clause and will demand one of the biggest transfer fees in history despite having a year left on his contract, what is both evident and imperative is that Messi doesn’t care – he wants to leave. Question is where now?
Rumours have come that Pep Guardiola-the man who is believed to have given shape to Messi was the first one to approach him. Pep always wanted Leo to be a part of Manchester City. Talks have also been going about his entry to Chelsea as Frank Lampard-the manager of the franchise talked to him post his announcement. Inter Milan, PSG and Manchester United are all believed to be a part of the purchasing race. Football fans can also sense a possibility of a Ronaldo Messi Line up at the starting of Juventus XI under Pirlo.
With Messi recently following Man City on Instagram and Sergio Aguero- the leading striker of Man City removing the ‘10’ from his Instagram handle- a number whose jersey would be surely worn by none other than the G.O.A.T himself if he comes to City, stakes are pretty high that Messi is shifting to Etihad.
Whatever happens, one thing is almost certain that irrespective of Koeman’s (the new Barca Manager) plan of excluding veteran players like Suarez, Rakitic, Unmiti and Vidal from the main line up, Messi was always the part of his main plan. Despite this, there is definitely something that Messi felt wrong with the Barca management and his possibility of not staying at Barcelona seems quite inevitable.