Lionel Messi’s representatives sent certified fax to the Barcelona board on Tuesday afternoon outlining the 33-year-old’s intention to walk away from Camp Nou for free this summer.
Messi’s contract expires in 2021, but the Argentine attacker has told Barca he wants to activate a clause that allowed him to leave this summer.
According to Standard Sport, that clause expired in June, with Messi obliged to tell the club in May if he had wanted to depart.
However, with the season extended due to Covid-19, the club captain’s interpretation is that the clause would be applicable until the end of this month.
The Catalan club are confident that the clause is not valid now and insist that their star player can only leave if another club pays his release clause, which stands at €700 million.
Bartomeu’s exit might help and around 300 fans protested outside the club’s stadium on Tuesday night to demand his resignation.
But Bartomeu has denied reports that he is set to hand in his notice and is understood to be closing ranks amid the latest crisis at Camp Nou.
Messi’s next club?
(Odds from Betfair)
Man City – 6/4
Inter Milan – 3/1
PSG – 3/1
Juventus – 4/1
Manchester United – 13/2
Any MLS club – 12/1
Liverpool – 14/1
Leeds – 20/1
Any Argentinian club – 25/1
Bayern Munich – 35/1
Chelsea – 50/1
Lazio – 100/1
Newcastle – 100/1
Napoli – 125/1
Real Madrid – 150/1
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At this stage of his career, the Argentine would want to stay in Europe and try to win another Champions League, but only a handful of clubs could afford him.