[Sport] Lionel Messi Has Told Barcelona He Wants To Leave The Club This Summer
Messi cut a disillusioned figure as the Catalan giants crashed out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage in Lisbon after suffering an 8-2 hammering by Bayern Munich.
It has reportedly led Messi to consider his future – and Brazilian outlet Esporte Interativo claim that he is demanding an immediate exit having grown frustrated at the lack of planning at the club and caused him to lose faith in their sporting plans.
The report – which comes from the same source that first reported Neymar’s move to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017 – adds that Messi has become more isolated at the club than ever before after his wait for his first Champions League title since 2015 continued on Friday.
Messi also cut a desolate figure last month after his side were pipped to the LaLiga title in by arch rivals Real Madrid, which was their first league title since 2017.
The 33-year-old criticised his team-mates after conceding the title to Zinedine Zidane’s side and warned them they would have to perform much better in Portugal this month.
But despite a Messi-inspired performance seeing them past Napoli, they were embarrassed by the Bundesliga champions to leave Messi further frustrated.
In the long-term, Messi has spent 12 months battling club president Josep Bartomeu and the Nou Camp hierarchy regarding the direction the club is heading in currently.
The news comes after reports that Manchester City believe that they are best placed to sign the Argentina star.
The report claimed Man City would pay ‘whatever it takes’ to lure him over to the Etihad Stadium and reunite with former manager Pep Guardiola.
City could however face competition from Inter Milan, with their former director Massimiliano Mirabelli claiming his signing ‘is more than a dream’ for the club.
But City’s reportedly believe that they will be at the front of the queue if the six-time Ballon d’Or winner decides to seek a new challenge.
But Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness believes city rivals Manchester United should make a sensational move for Messi.
He told The Times: ‘This would be the perfect week to put a bid in for the 33-year-old Argentinian and I could easily see him playing in Manchester — at either United or City.’
Messi has spent his entire professional career with Barca, but with one year remaining on his contract he could be eyeing the exit door.
He has a clause in his contract that allows him to leave for free at the end of every season but that expired at the end of May.
His current £635million buy-out clause is a concern for most potential suitors, but Barcelona may be forced to sacrifice their most precious asset to make bring about the desired summer overhaul at the Catalan outfit.
Mundo Deportivo reported that the club only consider Messi and four others as unavailable for transfer, but their hand could be forced if Messi pushes for a move.