Lionel Messi has sent a certified letter to the club asking to leave the Spanish giants Barcelona this summer.
This will be by way of a clause in his contract allowing him to unilaterally terminate the agreement.
The star sent the certified letter – known as a burofax in Spain – to Barcelona, communicating his intention to leave the club. The Argentina international, 33, sent the fax to the club on Tuesday.
Messi hopes to take advantage of a clause in his contract that allows him to unilaterally break the contract at the end of each season.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner made his debut for Barca in 2004 and has won the Champions League four times.
Where the contract had automatically renewed Messi’s buy-out clause of €700 million would still be in effect through to 30 June 2021.
Barcelona had understood that this clause expired at the end of each 31 May, meaning that the contract had automatically renewed for another year.
However, Messi’s lawyers argue that the season within the meaning of the clause did not finish on 31st May due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This implies that Messi, therefore, retains the option to terminate the contract.
According to some sources, Messi’s decision is irrevocable and he will not play for Barcelona again.
According to inside sources, the club didn’t expect Messi to force his transfer. There is an ongoing debate for Barca President Bartomeu to resign tonight and elections to be called in shortly over Messi’s decision.
Sources say that Bartomeu has already offered to resign to keep Messi at the club. The fans have started gathering outside the club offices.