Lionel Messi has told Barcelona he wants to leave the club after almost 20 years.
According to Marca, the Argentine does not want to continue under new boss Ronald Koeman following Barcelona’s embarrassing 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
And now reports from Spain and Argentina claim that he has communicated to the club his desire for a fresh start following a turbulent season.
Lionel Messi has told Barcelona he wants to leave the club after nearly two decades with the Spanish giants.
Where next for the Argentinean star?
Fox Sports journalist Cholo Sottile tweeted on Tuesday afternoon: “Confirmed: Messi has communicated to Barcelona that he will leave.”
Respected journalist Guillem Balague, meanwhile, claimed he may need to take legal action to break his contract, tweeting: “Messi thinks the season finished in August, so he can use the clause that frees him from the club before the end of the month. FCB would mention that the contract talks about the end of June for Messi to use the clause, so it has expired.”
It is believed Messi sent a burofax to the club confirming his intentions to leave, but they maintain that the clause in his contract allowing him to leave at the end of the season expired on June 10.
Messi has cut a forlorn figure at times in the last year or so, and it is believed his relationship with a number of figures in power at the Nou Camp has broken down.
He had a very public spat with former director Eric Abidal earlier this year, while he has also struggled to form a relationship on and off the pitch with big-money signing Antoine Griezmann.
If Messi does indeed leave all eyes will turn to his next possible destination.
Manchester City may well be at the front of the queue, with the intriguing possibility of a reunion with his former manager Pep Guardiola potentially on the cards.