Barcelona confirmed on Wednesday that Lionel Messi will not remain a player for the club next season. The Argentine has been linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain, and his contract expires in June.
Barcelona have said that Lionel Messi will not stay at the club next season. The Argentine forward has been linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain in recent weeks.
Barcelona has announced that Lionel Messi would leave the club due to “financial and structural difficulties.”
Messi, 34, has been a free agent since his contract ended on July 1st.
Two weeks later, he agreed to a new contract with the club with lower pay, but it was contingent on Barca selling players to cover his income.
“Both parties sincerely regret that the player’s and the club’s desires will not be realized in the end,” the club stated.
Barcelona had claimed that Messi was about to sign a new contract on Thursday, extending his 21-year relationship with the club, and blamed La Liga for his inability to do so.
He had agreed to remain with the Catalan club until 2026, but La Liga demanded that the club cut salaries before he and any new players could be registered.
“Despite the fact that FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi have achieved an agreement and both parties have stated their clear desire to sign a new contract today,” the club announced, “this cannot happen due to financial and structural hurdles [Spanish La Liga rules].”
“FC Barcelona expresses its heartfelt appreciation to the player for his contribution to the club’s development and wishes him the best of luck in his personal and professional life.”
Messi has 672 goals for Barcelona and has won 10 La Liga championships, four Champions Leagues, and seven Copa del Reys, in addition to winning the Ballon d’Or a record six times.
This summer, president Joan Laporta’s main goal had been to keep Messi at the Nou Camp.
The future of a player generally considered as one of the best of all time at Barca, however, has been badly hampered by the club’s financial difficulties.
The presidential election was conducted earlier this year against the background of Barca’s impending bankruptcy.
The Argentine has probably become the most sought-after player in the world of football.
Messi has been linked with a transfer to either PSG or Manchester City, where he would be reunited with his former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola.
Another possibility is Major League Soccer in the United States, which Messi has previously explored.
Messi’s decision comes a year after he submitted a fax to Barcelona executives requesting to activate a provision in his contract that would have enabled him to depart for free last summer.
Days later, he announced his intention to remain, conceding that any club would find it “difficult” to pay his 700 million euro (£624 million) release clause, which Barca insisted must be fulfilled.
It’s the end of an era.
Messi joined Barcelona’s renowned La Masia school at the age of 13 from Argentine side Newell’s Old Boys in 2000, and made his senior debut at the age of 16 in 2004.
He went on to play in 778 games for the club, scoring 672 goals, including 120 Champions League goals (second only to Cristiano Ronaldo) and a club record 474 La Liga goals.
He has won the European Golden Shoe award six times as the continent’s best scorer.
The chronology of Lionel Messi’s transfers
August 25, 2020 – Messi sends the club a fax stating that he wants to activate a provision in his contract that allows him to depart for free immediately.
September 4th, 2020 – Messi claims he will remain at Barcelona because any team would find it “impossible” to pay his 700 million euro (£624 million) release clause, which the club insists must be fulfilled.
The date is October 27, 2020. Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu resigns after a spat with Lionel Messi over a rejected transfer request.
28th of December, 2020 Messi says he wants to play in the United States one day, but he is uncertain about his future when his current deal expires.
The year 2021 begins on the 31st of January. Barcelona has threatened to take “necessary legal measures” against the Spanish publication El Mundo for publishing details of Messi’s £492 million four-year deal.
16th of May, 2021 – After a 2-1 loss against Celta Vigo ruined their championship ambitions and saw them finish outside the top two for the first time since 2007-08, manager Ronald Koeman expressed his optimism that Messi would not play his last home game for the club.
22nd of May, 2021 – Messi’s contract status is said to be “closely scrutinized” by Paris St-Germain.
28th of May, 2021 – Lionel Messi’s new deal is “not done yet,” according to Barcelona president Joan Laporta, but “things are moving nicely.”
Messi’s Barcelona contract ends on July 1, 2021, and he becomes a free agent.
15 July 2021 – Messi signs a contract extension with Barcelona until 2026, which involves a salary cut.
5th of August, 2021 Lionel Messi has said that he would quit Barcelona due to “financial and structural difficulties.”
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