The club confirmed on Tuesday that the Argentine sent a document expressing his desire to leave. The 33-year old has spent his entire professional career with Barcelona, scoring over 600 goals and winning ten league titles and four Champions Leagues.
However in the past couple of seasons cracks have started to appear in the relationship between Messi and the club, following high-profile exits in the Champions League. Messi had become more outspoken than ever.
The news comes shortly after it was reported that Koeman and Barcelona have told Messi’s close friend Luis Suarez that he will have his contract torn up by the club. Messi reportedly wants to invoke a clause in his contract that allows him to leave unilaterally this summer.
The clause was believed to have expired in June but could be extended due to the prolongation of the season due to the coronavirus pandemic. The development potentially puts the 33-year-old within reach of a dramatic move to Manchester City and a reunion with Pep Guardiola. Manchester United, PSG, Inter Milan and Juventus are also showing early interest.
Barcelona fans gathered outside Camp Nou stadium Tuesday night, sharing their anger towards Barca board. Fans were heard shouting ‘Bartomeu resign!’ outside the club’s headquarters but the president Josep Maria Bartomeu insisted he is not considering resigning.