FC Barcelona has officially announced that club legend Lionel Messi will not be returning to the club.
This comes after the Argentina international changed his mind’ about renewing his contract over the financial situation at the club.
He became a free agent last month after his original contract with Barca expired, though was set to take a 50 percent pay deduction from his previous deal, which was worth in excess of £425million over four years, in order to re-sign and for Barca to be able to re-register him with La Liga.
This would have meant that Messi’s earnings would have been slashed by £250,000 every week on the proposed new five-year contract.
Issuing a shocking statement on Thursday evening, Barcelona said: ‘Despite having reached an agreement between FC Barcelona and Leo Messi and with the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today, it cannot be formalized due to economic and structural obstacles (Spanish LaLiga regulations) .
‘Given this situation, Lionel Messi will not continue linked to FC Barcelona. Both parties deeply regret that the wishes of both the player and the Club cannot finally be fulfilled.
‘Barca would like to thank with all its heart the player’s contribution to the enhancement of the institution and wishes him the best in his personal and professional life.’