Lionel Messi Asks To Leave Barcelona – Reports

Lionel Messi has asked to leave Spanish giants Barcelona this summer according to several reports in Spain.

The Argentina international, 33, reportedly informed the club of his wish by fax on Tuesday.

Messi, Barcelona’s all time top scorer reportedly asked to exercise a clause in his contract, allowing him to leave for free with immediate effect.

Barcelona, though, believe the clause has now expired and Messi is contracted to the club until 2021 with a 700m euro buy-out clause.

Barcelona has been in flux since they suffered a humiliating 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals on 16 August.

Quique Setien was sacked in the aftermath and former Barca defender and Netherlands manager Ronald Koeman was appointed in his place.

Messi cut short his vacation to meet with Koeman and the Argentine reportedly informed the new manager that he sees his future away from the Nou Camp.

Messi, a six-time Ballon d’Or winner, made his debut for Barca in 2004 and has won the Champions League four times.

Barca’s board is expected to meet soon and according to Spanish football expert Guillem Balague, the only thing that could placate Messi is the resignation of club president Josep Maria Bartomeu and early elections.