Lionel Messi is set to leave Barcelona after the club was unable to execute a contract renewal with the star because of “future financing hurdles.”
After being unable to strike a deal on a contract renewal before his previous Barcelona contract expired on June 30, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner has been a free agent since July 1.
The 34-year-old, on the other hand, was reportedly set to sign a new five-year contract with the Catalan club, which would have seen his salary reduced by half.
According to an official statement which was released by Barcelona, it reads
Prior to the news of Messi leaving Barcelona, the club, however, has been discussing with vice-captains Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, and Sergi Roberto about decreasing their pay by 40% in exchange for contract extensions in order to ensure compliance with La Liga’s financial fair play standards for the upcoming season.
They’ve also attempted to sell a number of high-paid players, including Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele, Philippe Coutinho, Samuel Umtiti, and Martin Braithwaite, but have struggled to find a buyer for any of them.