Lionel Messi informs Barcelona he wants to leave; Man City may be the new destination
Lionel Messi has told Barcelona that he wants to leave the club this summer, reports said. According to ESPN, the club confirmed that they were notified by Messi of his decision via burofax, a service used in Spain to urgently dispatch a document that requires proof to third parties.
The announcement comes 11 days after Barcelona's humiliating 2-8 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarterfinals, one of the worst defeats in the player's career and in the club's history. Messi (33) has a contract until 2021 but has grown disappointed with events on and off the pitch at Camp Nou in recent months. Coach Quique Setien was sacked after the Bayern loss. Messi met with Setien's replacement, Ronald Koeman, last week, telling him that he had doubts about his future in Catalonia.
Signalling the end of an era at Nou Camp, where the magician is the record scorer and has clinched four Champions League titles, the dissatisfied Argentine wants to terminate his contract ‘unilaterally’ by triggering a release clause. The news is sure to put any football club in the world with the financial clout to put together an alluring package for a player who has scored more than 700 goals for the club and Argentina on red alert.
According to media reports, Lionel Messi reportedly wants to spend next season at Manchester City after moving on from Barcelona. Messi had played for Pep Guardiola (current manager at City) from 2008-12, combining to win two Champions League titles in that stretch.
(With inputs from IANS)