Lionel Messi told Barcelona he wants to leave the club and will activate his release clause to end his contract unilaterally.
It was also reported that the club will defend their rights to demand a fee for the player, instead of letting him go free. After June 10th the club claims the clause became inactive.
His decision to call time for his career in Barcelona follows his most humiliating defeat while playing for the club, losing 8-2 in the quarter-final of the Champions League to Bayern Munich.
It was after that game that reports started to circulate that Messi had reached the end of his time in Barca, as confirmed by journalist Marcelo Bechler, the man who first broke the news that Neymar was going to move to PSG, that Messi wanted a transfer.
It’s a condition that neither Messi nor the club had ever expected to happen. He would be able to spend the rest of his career at Camp Nou if he had enough confidence in the board to oversee the kind of improvements that the club has needed for some time. But having pulled Barcelona to the title wins in 2018 and 2019, he does not owe them anything more, not with the support of the board’s recruitment but despite it.
He has given the club his best years, he hasn’t won a Champions League for five years, and he doesn’t want to waste any more time in a club facing a reconstruction as his legs continue to wane.
Everywhere he goes now is another matter but for the greatest player of all time there should be no lack of takers.
Inter Milan’s interest in taking Messi to the San Siro is known, though Barca have shown interest in Lautaro Martínez as well. It is known that the Italian club still has the financial resources to meet the salary demands.
A meeting with his former boss Pep Guardiola at Manchester City will be another choice for Messi. Guardiola hasn’t won the Champions League since he handled Messi in Barcelona and a Last Dance with his old mentor could lure Messi to Manchester City with the coach only likely to stay in City for another year.