Reports have been doing the rounds ever since Barcelona’s 8-2 thrashing by eventual Champions League winners, Bayern Munich, that Catalonian poster boy, Lionel Messi wants out.

 

Though Barca higher-ups have denied the claim, they are now left with red-faces, as Leo officially informed them of their brake-up via fax.

 

The Argentinean has seemingly become so exasperated at Barca, that he would like to try his luck elsewhere, and that could well have set up a complicated legal wrangle, and lead to a … Messi divorce. (sorry, not sorry)

 

The club confirmed on Tuesday the Argentine sent a document expressing his desire to activate a release clause that would end his contract – which currently runs until next June – and allow him to leave for free this summer.

 

Barcelona does not agree the clause is still active. It is said to have expired on June 10 – 10 days after the original date of the Champions League final on May 30.

 

But Messi’s lawyers are arguing that – in the spirit of the deal and good faith – the clause is still active after the rescheduled final on August 23, which was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

 

A New Kingdom

 

Manchester City was linked with a £150 million (R3.3 billion) move for the 33-year-old earlier in the month, and it has now been claimed that Guardiola and Messi have already discussed a potential transfer.

 

According to the Daily Mirror, that discussion is believed to have taken place before the six-time Ballon d’Or winner’s announcement on Tuesday, and puts City in pole position in the market.