Official: Barcelona CONFIRM Lionel Messi exit

Barcelona have confirmed in a statement that Lionel Messi “will not remain linked with the club” and effectively leave it after contract talks broke down.

Following news from MARCA that the Argentine was “further from renewing for Barcelona than ever” before, and claims made by Catalan radio station RAC1 that he Messi “does not like the current squad” and that the other captains have been informed of his stance, the Blaugrana sent out a press release to address the matter.

“Despite having an agreement reached between FC Barcelona and Leo Messi and with the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today, it will not be possible to formalize due to economic and structural obstacles (regulations of the Spanish League),” it began, translated from Catalan.

“Faced with this situation, Lionel Messi will not remain linked with FC Barcelona. Both sides deeply regret that in the end the wishes of both the player and the Club cannot be fulfilled.

“Barça would like to thank the player for his contribution to the expansion of the institution and wishes him the best in his personal and professional life.”

Messi became a free agent this summer after his original contract with Barca expired, though was set to re-sign with the club following positive initial talks between all parties.

Messi was in line for a fresh long-term deal, albeit on lower pay terms. Now, however, breaking reports in Spain claim that the agreement is all but dead.

According to Catalan radio outlet RAC1, Messi’s situation at Barca has now become ‘irreversible’.

He is, it is reported, ‘more out of Barca than ever’ and ‘does not like the current squad’.