Barcelona have confirmed that Lionel Messi has informed them that he wants to leave after ten years.
Messi sent a document to the club through his lawyers requesting his release clause that would allow to leave the club on free transfer be activated.
The Argentine’s contract with Nou Camp still runs till end of June 2021.
The club have acknowledged the reception of the request but are yet to make any reply but it is understood they are preparing one.
According to Sky Sports , Barcelona do not agree the clause is still active. It is said to have expired on June 10 – 10 days after the original date of the Champions League final on May 30.
But his lawyers arguing that – in the spirit of the deal and good faith – the clause is still active after the rescheduled final on August 23, which was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The announcement is coming after Barcelona’s woeful 8-2 thrashing by Bayern Munich in Champions League quarterfinals.
The defeat capped the worst season in Barcelona history with no trophy since 2007/2008 campaign.
Barça’s new boss Ronald Koeman has expressed his desire for Messi to stay in the club.
“I don’t know if I have to convince Messi [to stay]. Of course he is the best player in the world and you want the best player in the world in your team – you don’t want him playing against you.” Koeman said.
“For me as a coach, I would love to work with Messi because he wins matches. If he is at the ability and the level he has always shown, I would be more than happy for him to stay.
“He’s still got a contract and he is still a Barcelona player. There are some older players in the team and we need to make some decisions but in Messi’s case, I hope that he stays with us.”
Messi has won a record six Ballon d’Or awards during his time at Barcelona as the top player in the world, and has helped the club win 10 Spanish league titles and four Champions Leagues.