The 33-year-old has spent his entire career with the Blaugrana, winning the Ballon d’Or on six occasions
Barcelona legend Lionel Messi has submitted a request to leave the club.
Sources have confirmed to Goal that the 33-year-old has sent a fax to Barcelona asking the club to allow him to activate a clause in his contract that will allow him to leave on a free transfer this summer, with his deal currently set to expire at the end of next season.
Rumours of Messi’s unhappiness have been swirling since Bayern Munich humiliated Barcelona 8-2 in the Champions League quarter-final on August 14, ending a season that saw the club fail to win any trophies.
Following that match, Barcelona sacked head coach Quique Setien as well as technical manager Eric Abidal.
Barcelona subsequently hired Ronald Koeman to replace Setien, with the Dutchman expressing his desire to keep the Argentine star at Camp Nou.
After sitting down with Messi, however, it appears that Koeman was unable to convince his side’s talisman to become a part of his project.
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has previously insisted that Messi will end his career at Camp Nou as Bartomeu’s own future continues to be questioned.
Bartomeu has moved forward Barca’s presidential elections to March as he looks to keep hold of a position that would be even more precarious if he is to oversee his club’s talisman departing.
With his desire to leave confirmed, attention will turn to Messi’s potential next destination with very few clubs likely able to afford the Argentine’s wages.
Inter, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City have been mooted as possible landing spots, and a move to Major League Soccer has also been discussed.
More to follow…