Messi will not renew at Barcelona
It has been confirmed by Barcelona that Lionel Messi will not be a member of their squad for the upcoming season.
LATEST NEWS | Leo #Messi will not continue with FC Barcelona
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 5, 2021
Messi has been at Barcelona since 2000, and has made 778 appearances for the club, racking up 672 goals, 308 assists and 6 Ballons d’or in the process.
Widely seen as one of, if not the greatest player of his generation, Messi became a free agent on the 1st of July 2021, but was expected to remain a Barcelona player on reduced monetary terms. However, Marca reported earlier this evening that contract talks had fallen through, and Barcelona have since taken to their official channels to confirm the news.
What the club said
In a statement, the Catalan club said:
Despite FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi having reached an agreement and the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today, this cannot happen because of financial and structural obstacles (Spanish Liga regulations).
As a result of this situation, Messi shall not be staying on at FC Barcelona. Both parties deeply regret that the wishes of the player and the club will ultimately not be fulfilled.
FC Barcelona wholeheartedly expresses its gratitude to the player for his contribution to the aggrandisement of the club and wishes him all the very best for the future in his personal and professional life.
Messi has been a crucial part of Barcelona’s success since he emerged on the scene, and has often single-handedly won them games, trophies and league titles. On the back of a successful international summer, in which he lifted the Copa America with Argentina, it was widely assumed that the veteran would remain Blaugrana, but that no longer looks set to be the case.
Speculation is already swirling around where Messi could end up next, with Paris Saint-Germain seemingly the favourites for his signature.
This article was edited by Conor Laird.