Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has confirmed to a Spanish radio that manager Quique Setien “is out” as Lionel Messi is demanding to leave the club after a disgraceful 8-2 thrashing by Bayern Munich on Friday’s Champions League quarterfinal.
It was the first time Barcelona had conceded more than five goals in the Champions League since the competition was restructured in 1992.
It was also Messi’s worst defeat in his illustrious career and images after the game showed how he was affected.
The Argentine was seen sitting with hunched shoulders, sitting on his own in the Barcelona dressing room.
This humiliation apparently cemented Messi’s decision to leave the club this summer for good despite still having a year left in his contract with a possible extension.
The 33-year-old had already been reportedly nursing the idea of leaving before Friday’s disgraceful outing happened.
Meanwhile Barcelona are ready to put the past behind them by preparing moves to sack Setien. An emergency meeting has been called on Monday to put it into effect.
Mauricio Pochettino, Ronald Koeman and Xavi have all been considered as possible replacement.
However reports suggest former Tottenham boss Pochettinno is not particularly liked but some members of the Barcelona camp due to his ties with Espanyol.
Koeman has since emerged as the top contender and talks have already been held with Barcelona representatives.
Meanwhile Messi who is demanding an immediate exit feels isolated at the club for not winning the Champions League since 2015.
He is already linked to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City but his buyout clause is a staggering £635million which the English club may not be able to afford.