Lionel Messi wants to leave but faces legal battle over clause
Lionel Messi has told Barcelona that he wants to leave the club immediately – and on a free transfer. The Argentinian, who according to RAC1 radio had told the new manager, Ronald Koeman, that he felt “more out than in”, has sent a fax to Barcelona informing them of his desire to go.
Messi’s camp believes that a clause in his contract means he can walk away for no fee. Barcelona, by contrast, insist that he is still bound by a €700m (£629m) buy-out clause. The bombshell dropped on Tuesday evening with the news that Messi had told the club on Tuesday afternoon.
Barcelona are yet to react officially but they continue to insist that he is part of Koeman’s plans and that if he is to depart his official price is €700m. Messi’s contract expires next summer, suggesting they would be forced to negotiate with potential buyers. Worse, a clause in his contract allows him to walk away for free so long as he communicates that decision.
Barcelona believe the deadline for that clause to be applied has expired, as he had to inform them of his decision before the end of May. But given the exceptional nature of this season, which extended into the summer and did not formally end until the Champions League final last Sunday, Messi’s camp are set to argue that the deadline should be set on 31 August.
The former Barça captain Carles Puyol has tweeted his support for Messi, saying “respect and admiration, Leo. All my support, friend”. Luis Suárez, who has already been told by Koeman that he can leave the club, responded with two applause emojis.
The Argentinian newspaper Diario Olé has reported that Messi was left angry and frustrated after his first meeting with Koeman. According to Spain’s Diario AS, the new Barcelona coach told Messi “your privileges here are over”.
The club’s president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, is set to hold an emergency board meeting in response to Messi’s formal request to leave. Barcelona fans are gathering outside the club’s offices, where the meeting is believed to be taking place.
Whatever happens now, the relationship between the player and the club he has called home for almost 20 years is now broken beyond repair, and the crisis deepening by the minute. Bartomeu, already under intense pressure, may now go down as the man who oversaw the last, bitter, sad departure of the most important player in the club’s history.
Lionel Messi is staying at Barcelona. Ten days after he served official notice of his determination to walk out of the Camp Nou, he finally announced that he would not be going after all – not because he had changed his mind, but because he had been left with no choice.
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Immer wenn die Bayern in ihrer Europapokalgeschichte die Partie eindeutig dominiert haben, haben sie das Endspiel verloren, gegen Porto 1987, gegen Aston Villa 1982, gegen United 1999, gegen Chelsea 2012. Wenn es dagegen eine ganz enge Partie war, dann haben die Bayern am Ende den Pokal in den Himmel gestemmt. Das Gesetz besteht weiter. Die Bayern sind die Sieger, und sie sind es, weil sie bei diesem Turnier letztlich das beste Team waren.