Lionel Messi, Barcelona’s all-time top scorer and appearance maker with 672 goals in 778 games, will leave the club, La Liga said on Thursday, citing economic and structural obstacles to the renewal of the deal.
The Argentina forward was free to negotiate a transfer with other clubs after his deal ran out at the end of June, but Barcelona had always maintained he wanted to stay with the club.
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 La Liga regulations), Barca said in a statement.
As a result, 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, it added.