Barcelona announce Lionel Messi will leave the club

Barcelona have this evening announced the stunning news that Lionel Messi will not re-sign with the club

The Spanish club said in a statement that it cannot afford to resign Messi due to “economic and structural” issues. Messi, 34, has been a free agent since his previous terms expired on June 30.

The club said in a statement: “Despite having reached an agreement between FC Barcelona and Leo Messi and with the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today, it cannot be formalized due to economic and structural obstacles [Spanish LaLiga regulations].

“Given this situation, Lionel Messi will not continue linked to FC Barcelona. Both parties deeply regret that the wishes of both the player and the club cannot finally be fulfilled.

“Barca would like to thank with all its heart the player’s contribution to the enhancement of the institution and wishes him the best in his personal and professional life.”

Regarded as one of the best to have ever played the game, Messi won four Champions Leagues and ten La Liga titles at Barcelona. The 34-year-old has won the Ballon D’Or award six times, and is Barcelona’s all-time top scorer.

La Liga’s tight regulations around team finances, and Barcelona’s worsening financial situation due to the Covid-19 pandemic and high wage bill, had left the Catalan club in a difficult situation regarding Messi’s contract.

It had appeared the Argentine would remain at the club earlier this summer, after reports that he would agree a new five-year deal on reduced wages.

It is expected interest in the multi-Ballon D’Or winner will be high, although only a select few clubs in the world will have the finances required to complete such a deal such as Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.

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