Lionel Messi: Barcelona unwilling to negotiate forward’s exit this summer

The 33-year-old has requested a personal meeting with the Barcelona hierarchy to discuss a solution to the impasse over his transfer request

Messi asked to activate a release clause that would end his contract – which currently runs until next June – and allow him to leave for free this summer, but the club have said the clause has already expired.However, Messi’s lawyers are arguing that – in the spirit of the deal and good faith – the clause is still active after the rescheduled Champions League final on August 23, which was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Manchester City, coached by former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola, are seen as favourites to sign Messi, who has a buyout clause of 700m euros.

Paris Saint-Germain and Inter Milan are both said to be preparing offers in an attempt to persuade him away from a reunion with Guardiola and international colleague Sergio Aguero.

Messi hasn’t spoken publicly since the 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals of the Champions League on August 14 at the end of a difficult season, which saw the club finish without a title for the first time since 2007-08.

“I think the situation is that Messi wants a meeting with the Barcelona board to reiterate his desire that he wants to leave.

“Barcelona’s position is not going to change. Messi and his representatives think there is a clause in his contract which means he can leave for nothing this summer.

“I think the message he will get in that meeting from Barcelona is ‘you are not going anywhere for free, if you want to leave we believe your contract says that there is a release clause of 700m euros, that is what it will take’.

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