Reports have emerged that Barcelona captain Lionel Messi is not willing to stay at Camp Nou beyond his contract, which expires in 2021.
It was initially reported that the star had agreed on a contract extension till 2023, with a clause that he can leave whenever he wants to.
Jorge, Messi’s father, had reportedly begun discussing a deal with the Catalan giant after the last contract was signed in 2017, but things seemed to have changed that the Argentine is no longer interested in staying at the Camp Nou.
Sources said that Messi has called off negotiations over renewing his contract with the club and is ready to leave the Catalans when his current deal expires in 2021.
Spanish radio station Cadena Ser on Friday reported that Messi is angry about leaked media reports that make him seem responsible for events at the club, which include the sack of coach Ernesto Valverde in January, and he is frustrated about the squad’s lack of quality.
Although no comment from either of the party yet, 32-year-old Messi finally scored his 700th career goal on Tuesday against Atletico Madrid, that was not enough to secure the much-needed win for the Blaugrana as Barca drew the game 2-2, which has extended widen the gap between them at the top team, Real Madrid that squeezed out a 1-0 win against Getafe to lead the log by four points with five games to go.
Lionel Messi now more vocal
Known as a shy person, Messi has been more vocal in his criticism of the club lately. He had a clash with Sports Director, Eric Abidal in January when he said had implied players had led to Valverde being sacked.
The six-time world footballer of the year also in a February interview with newspaper Mundo Deportivo declared that Barcelona was not good enough to win this season’s Champions League.
After the coronavirus lockdown, Messi also criticized the club’s board for implying players were not willing to accept a pay-cut to help the team’s financial difficulties during the pandemic.
Messi reportedly earns £500,000 ($610k/€565k) per week in his current contract with Barcelona. Hence, his proposed contract is expected to be an improvement on what he currently earns.