Breaking: Barcelona confirms that Lionel Messi has told the club he wants to leave. pic.twitter.com/5P4riZQ9hi— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 25, 2020
Several sources confirmed to ESPN that the argentinian player Lionel Messi has told to Barcelona FC that he wants to leave the club this summer.
The club confirmed to ESPN Deportes' Jordi Blanco on Tuesday that they were notified by Messi of his decision via burofax (service used in Spain to urgently dispatch a document that requires proof to third parties)
Messi is 33 and has a contract until 2021 but has grown disappointed with events on and off the pitch at Camp Nou in recent months. The 8-2 loss against Bayern Munich for the UEFA Champions League apparently was the final straw and he has informed the club of his desire to leave, following trophyless season, the first since 2007-2008.
There are teams interested in the player, like Manchester City (according to ESPN) , but Barcelona has stressed over the last week that they want Messi to be the pillar of Ronald Koeman (the new Barça coach, who was hired after Quique Setien was fired for that Bayern match) new team and that any club wanting him would have to pay his €700 million release clause.
However, some board members have told ESPN they would be open to a move if Messi were to push hard enough and if it allowed Koeman more funds to invest in the rebuild of the squad.
It remains to be seen if Barça will now be open to negotiating with interested parties following Messi's request to leave the club. Very few teams would be able to offer Messi what he wants on the pitch -- success in the Champions League -- and, at the same time, match his wages as the best-paid player in the world.
Update: Barcelona fans were seen protesting ouside of Camp Nou, asking for Bartomeu to resign
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This could be the end of an era, OMG