FC Barcelona have announced that their captain Lionel Messi will leave the club and not be part of Ronald Koeman’s plans for the new season over “financial and structural obstacles”.
Messi and Barcelona had reached an agreement on a contract extension which will see the 34 year-old take a massive pay cut as the Catalan club continues to deal with a huge financial burden.
However, in a club statement on Thursday, the bombshell news confirmed the obstacles hadn’t been cleared and the situation, regrettably, leaves all parties no choice but to split.
The statement reads:
Despite FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi having reached an agreement and the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today, this cannot happen because of financial and structural obstacles (Spanish Liga regulations).
As a result of this situation, Messi shall not be staying on at FC Barcelona. Both parties deeply regret that the wishes of the player and the club will ultimately not be fulfilled.
FC Barcelona wholeheartedly expresses its gratitude to the player for his contribution to the aggrandisement of the club and wishes him all the very best for the future in his personal and professional life.