Lionel Messi ‘wants to leave Barcelona this summer’
LIONEL MESSI wants to leave Barcelona THIS SUMMER, according to reports.
And the Argentine superstar is said to have informed the club already.
Messi was furious after Barca were humiliatingly dumped out of the Champions League on Friday with an 8-2 thumping by Bayern Munich.
He reportedly threatened to quit if there was not a major restructure at the Nou Camp.
But he is not willing to wait for the change and wants to leave “immediately”, according to Esporte Interativo.
An inside source close to Messi is quoted as saying: “He has never seen Leo so determined to leave as now.”
The Brazilian outlet correctly revealed Neymar was leaving Barca for Paris Saint-Germain in 2017.
Barcelona have refuted the claims, according to Catalan outlet Sport.
And one senior figure has reportedly warned any pursuers:: “He has a contract until June 2021, with a clause of £633million.”
Messi, 33, has grown disillusioned with life at his boyhood club following numerous mounting problems behind the scenes.
His contract expires next summer when he can leave for free but he appears determined to leave right now.
And Graeme Souness believes Premier League duo Man City and neighbours United should waste no time in making their move.
Writing in the Times, he said: “Lionel Messi looked like a man who has had enough of carrying that team; without him they wouldn’t even be good enough to qualify for the Champions League.
“This would be the perfect week to put a bid in for the 33-year-old Argentinian and I could easily see him playing in Manchester — at either United or City.”
Messi cut a distraught figure following the darkest night in the club’s history against Bayern.
With the legendary forward not getting any younger, Messi is not prepared to spend the twilight of his career at a club going backwards.
A new manager is inevitable with the club targetting former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino.
But the real issues lie at the hands of president Josep Bartomeu who has been embroiled in a string of controversial antics.
One of those include paying a PR firm to attack stars such as Messi and Gerard Pique online.
Another change is likely to see the axeing of Sporting Director Eric Abidal – of whom had a pubic falling out with Messi.
Messi scored 31 goals and provided 26 assists from 44 appearances in all competitions this season.
Barca are facing a stream of departures with ex-Liverpool star Luis Suarez said to be on the transfer list.