Barcelona have confirmed in a statement that Messi, whose contract ran out at the end of last season, will exit the Nou Camp.
The statement read: “Despite FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi having reached an agreement and the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today, this cannot happen because of financial and structural obstacles (Spanish Liga regulations).
“As a result of this situation, Messi shall not be staying on at FC Barcelona. Both parties deeply regret that the wishes of the player and the club will ultimately not be fulfilled.
“FC Barcelona wholeheartedly expresses its gratitude to the player for his contribution to the aggrandisement of the club and wishes him all the very best for the future in his personal and professional life.”
Messi has spent 21 years at Barcelona after joining them in 2000 at the age of 13. He progressed through their academy and made his senior competitive debut at the age of 17 in October 2004 against Espanyol.
Since then, he has made 520 appearances for Barcelona in the league, scoring 474 goals — a La Liga record. He has won the Ballon d’Or six times, the Champions League four times and La Liga ten times with Barcelona. Messi, now 34, has also won the Copa del Rey seven times.
On the international stage, he won the Copa America with Argentina this summer
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