Lionel Messi has told Barcelona he wants to leave the club after nearly two decades with the Spanish powerhouse. The football world is now waiting to see where the star will be heading to , after leaving Barcelona.
The club told a news agency on August 25 that Messi sent a document expressing his desire to leave.
The announcement comes 11 days after Barcelona’s humiliating 8-2 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.
However, his attempt to exit the club could now lead to a legal battle between the two sides over a clause in his contract.
Barcelona said the document sent by Messi referenced a clause allowing him to leave for free at the end of the season. However, the club said the deadline for triggering that clause expired in June and that it would seek legal advice.
If Messi can leave for free, he will have no shortage of suitors. However, only a handful of clubs could realistically afford to pay his wages even without a transfer fee — with mega-rich Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City widely seen as perhaps the most likely destinations.
It is also reported that the Argentina great wants to spend next season at Manchester City after moving on from Barcelona.
The superstar spoke with Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola on the phone last week to discuss a potential move to the Premier League club.
Messi had played for Guardiola from 2008-12, combining to win two Champions League titles in that stretch.
Guardiola has won two Premier League championships with Manchester City, finishing second in the league to Liverpool this year. Adding Messi could make the team a favorite to win the Premier League again as well as contend for a Champions League title.
The 33-year-old Messi has won a record six Ballon d’Or awards during his time at Barcelona as the top player in the world, and has helped the club win 10 La Liga titles and four UEFA Champions League crowns.