Lionel Messi will not turn up for Barcelona training on Monday

A fresh update in the Lionel Messi vs Barcelona saga has emerged on Monday afternoon.

Messi eyeing Barcelona exit

The headline news in the footballing world over the last week or so has, of course, surrounded the possibility of Messi leaving Barcelona.

The La Liga powerhouse suffered a humiliating 8-2 defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich in the Champions league earlier this month, a loss that appears to have been the final straw for Messi.

In the days following the Blaugrana’s drubbing, news began to emerge that the Argentine had informed the Catalan outfit of his desire to leave.

The main issue in any potential exit, though, comes in the form of Messi’s contract.

As part of his current deal, Messi is understood to maintain a clause, allowing him to leave for free at the end of any given season, provided that sufficient notice is provided.

To take advantage of this clause during a normal campaign, Messi is reportedly required to inform Barca of his desire to move on in May. This year, however, owing to the pandemic, Barcelona believe that their captain should have done so in June, to be sure of an exit.

As a result, Barca are maintaining that Messi’s €700m release clause is still active.

This stance was then officially backed by La Liga over the weekend, with the payment of the aforementioned release clause therefore seemingly representing Messi’s only way out of the Camp Nou at present.

ESPN, meanwhile, have since reported that Barca believe the only possible avenue by which Messi could secure a free agent exit is if the Argentine agrees not to take to the pitch next season.

Messi to miss training

Despite this blow, though, Messi still appears to be adamant that his time at the Camp Nou is over.

The forward reportedly did not show up for his scheduled PCR (Covid-19) test over the weekend.

And now, as per various outlets, including Sky Sports News and Goal, Messi will not turn up for training on Monday, with the forward no longer considering himself a part of Ronald Koeman’s Barca squad.

Sky add that Messi’s father and representative is expected to meet with the Barcelona hierarchy on Wednesday, to discuss the future of the 33-year-old.

In terms of potential suitors for Messi, as of this past weekend, Manchester City were understood to be the frontrunners.

With it looking increasingly likely that any club with genuine hopes of landing Messi will be forced to stump up some form of fee, meanwhile, it is also believed that City are willing to include Eric Garcia and Angelino as part of a deal.

However, all of Gabriel Jesus, Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez have reportedly been taken off the table in negotiations for Barcelona’s talisman.

On an interesting side note, should Messi indeed depart Catalunya, Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone will become the highest-paid individual (coach or player) in La Liga.

See also: Manchester United ‘have agreed to sign’ Ajax’s Donny van de Beek for £39.3m

‘Nobody is giving up on Kepa’: Petr Cech hints Spaniard still has future at Chelsea

This article was edited by Conor Laird.

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