Lionel Messi will leave FC Barcelona this summer, ending his 16-year playing career with the Catalan club.
Barcelona have confirmed in a statement released on social media that Messi – whose contract ended at the end of last season – will not renew his deal with the club and will exit the Nou Camp.
The statement read “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 Liga regulations).
As a result of this situation, 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.”
While Messi’s contract with his boyhood club expired on the 1st of July, the reports widely suggested that he had agreed on a new 5-year deal with Barcelona after agreeing on a 50% wage cut. However, as it turns out, the two parties have failed to come to an agreement due to the strict spending regulations in place by Barcelona.
What are the La Liga Spending regulations?
La Liga have strict spending regulations for each club and with the Covid-19 pandemic affecting their revenues, Barcelona’s wage limit has reduced from €671 million to €382.7 million. With this hard cap on spending, Barcelona aren’t able to afford to renew Messi’s contract due to their already exorbitant wage bill.
What now for Lionel Messi?
Messi is now officially a free agent and is free to negotiate with other clubs from around Europe. PSG and Manchester City were heavily linked with the Argentinian last summer, however, it is unclear at this moment what his next destination will be.
[Image Credit: Sportskeeda Football]