Star striker Lionel Messi has reportedly expressed his unwillingness to renew his contract with Barcelona, which is set to expire next year.
Messi, who is the club’s all-time top scorer’s contract, was expected to sign a new deal that would keep him at the club until at least 2023.
However, according to a report by Spanish radio station Cadena Ser, the 33-year-old has now changed his mind and will instead leave when the deal ends.
The report said that Messi and his father Jorge had begun discussing renewing his last deal with the club, which was signed in 2017, but he no longer wishes to stay with Barcelona.
Earlier this season Messi, and the players, were blamed by Eric Abidal for the departure of manager Ernesto Valverde, following the loss to Atletico Madrid in the Spanish Supercopa. Messi, however, had denied his involvement in the decision.
Recently, Messi scored his 700th career goal after he scored from the penalty spot in Barcelona’s 2-2 draw against Atletico Madrid at the Camp Nou in the ongoing La Liga.
The Barcelona star, who converted a spot-kick to reach the milestone on June 30, has scored 630 times for Barca in 724 appearances in all competitions and another 70 for Argentina in 138 caps. - IANS