Lionel Messi has informed Barcelona that he wants to leave the club this summer.
The PA news agency understands the 33-year-old sent a fax to the LaLiga giants on Tuesday asking to have his contract terminated.
Messi came through the ranks at the Nou Camp having joined the famed La Masia academy and has won 33 major trophies and a record six Ballon d’Or titles.
Reports claim the Argentina international had a clause in his contract which, if activated, would allow him to walk away from the club for free.
While the suggestion is this clause expired in May, there are claims that Messi and his team believe it should be extended to cover the prolonged season – which ran until August following the delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
It remains to be seen how Barcelona will respond to Messi’s request, with the club trying to rebuild following the appointment of Ronald Koeman as head coach.
Messi was part of the Barcelona side that was thrashed 8-2 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-final, and speaking recently Koeman said he was looking forward to working with the forward.
“It is a pleasure to have a player like Messi in the team. His qualities will help the team to develop.” he told Barcelona’s official website.