According to Alfredo Martinez of Onda Cero Radio, Lionel Messi has officially informed Barcelona that he wants to leave the club this summer. Reports suggest that the Argentine has informed the Catalan giants of his decision and is eager to secure a transfer immediately, as he looks set to end his association with the La Liga side after nearly two decades.
The 33-year-old will not attend pre-season training and has triggered the clause on his contract that allows him to walk for free at the end of each season. Barcelona have confirmed that they have received Messi's fax and are adamant that the clause has already expired.
However, Lionel Messi and his representatives believe that it holds good till the end of August due to the complications involving the coronavirus.
Lionel Messi's Barcelona departure could change the landscape of things in world football
In what could trigger an unprecedented chain of events, the Barcelona talisman has made his mind up and is unlikely to reverse his decision. Several media outlets across the globe have confirmed that story and it looks like it is only a matter of time before Lionel Messi officially leaves Barcelona.
Manchester City have been mentioned as his next destination, with the Cityzens amongst the very few clubs in world football that can afford his astronomical wages.
In the case of his potential departure, everything points to the fact that Messi will leave Barcelona on a free transfer if the technicalities surrounding his contract are cleared up in the coming weeks.
Barcelona are in complete disarray and endured the worst defeat in the club's history, as they were beaten 8-2 by eventual winners Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals. Quique Setien was relieved of his duties and replaced by Ronald Koeman, who admitted that he would do everything he can to convince Lionel Messi to stay.
The Dutchman's efforts have seemingly proved futile, with the Argentine star keen to secure a transfer this summer. Lionel Messi's transfer from Barcelona is sure to go down as one of the most iconic moments in the history of the game and it remains to be seen if it comes to fruition.
As things stand, Barcelona have reportedly called an emergency meeting to reevaluate the situation, with their talisman on the brink of an unexpected exit. Lionel Messi's departure is not set in stone, but there is a growing belief that he will seal a transfer from Barcelona in the ongoing transfer window.
Published 25 Aug 2020, 23:30 IST