Lionel Messi has made a shock u-turn, agreeing to remain at Barcelona next season.

The 33-year-old said he never considered taking his transfer row with Barcelona where he spent all of his career, to trial.

“I thought and was sure that I was free to leave, the president always said that at the end of the season I could decide if I stayed or not,” Messi told Goal.

“Now they cling to the fact that I did not say it before June 10, when it turns out that on June 10 we were competing for La Liga in the middle of this awful coronavirus and this disease altered all the season.

“And this is the reason why I am going to continue in the club. Now I am going to continue in the club because the president told me that the only way to leave was to pay the €700m (£624m) clause, and that this is impossible.”

“There was another way and it was to go to trial,” he added. “I would never go to court against Barca because it is the club that I love, which gave me everything since I arrived.

“It is the club of my life, I have made my life here.

“Barca gave me everything and I gave it everything. I know that it never crossed my mind to take Barca to court.”

FrujuSports had previously reported that Messi’s father and agent Jorge had released a statement insisting that his son’s €700million was not “applicable at all. “

La Liga responded with a statement a few minutes later, emphasizing on their earlier stance that the €700million must be paid in full before Messi would be allowed to leave Barcelona.

Last week, had informed Barca of his desire to leave on free transfer via an official note and did not turn up for the team’s first five days of pre-season training under new boss Ronald Koeman.