Messi stunned into Barca exit by Koeman as former agent names next club

Date published: Wednesday 26th August 2020 2:11 - Jonny Whitfield

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Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman reportedly stunned Lionel Messi into deciding to leave Barcelona by insisting that the forward no longer has a guaranteed place in the team.

After a turbulent season at Barca, Messi allegedly sent a fax to the club on Tuesday denouncing his intentions.

However, he could face a serious legal battle with the Spanish giants over an exit clause placed into his latest contract.

Amid an under-par campaign on the pitch, Messi has also clashed with senior Barca figures this year. Indeed, he entered a battle of words with former sporting director Eric Abidal in February.

The Argentina star also reportedly has issues with club president Josep Maria Bartomeu. According to Diario Ole, though, it was new boss Ronald Koeman tipped the forward over the edge.

In showdown talks between the pair about Messi’s future, Koeman reportedly said: “Your privileges in the squad are over, you have to do everything for the team.

“I’m going to be inflexible, you have to think about the team.”

In any case, Messi’s desire to leave has led to heightened speculation about where his future could lie.

Manchester City are reportedly keen, with the 33-year-old allegedly making contact with the Premier League giants.

FORMER AGENT MAKES NEXT CLUB CLAIM

Lionel Messi Barcelona TEAMtalk

However, his former agent, Josep Maria Minguella, has claimed that Messi will now move to Inter Milan.

He told Spain-based radio station Cope: “For me, Messi already has a team: Inter. In Italy they pay less taxes for what could be, in fact, there is Cristiano Ronaldo.

“It is more difficult for me to see him in England no matter how much his friend [Sergio] Aguero and Guardiola are in City.

“Now in Italy they are trying to revitalize the world of football with great signings and with these advantages in the advertising contracts of the footballers.”

Messi is Barcelona’s all-time record goalscorer, having netted over 634 goals in 731 games.

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