Barcelona’s iconic captain has been contemplating his future following the Champions League capitulation at the hands of Bayern Munich nearly a fortnight ago when Hansi Flick’s side handed out an 8-2 thrashing.
Messi has spent his entire professional career at Camp Nou but the dismissals of Quique Setien and sporting director Eric Abidal have done little to change the 33-year-old’s belief that the club is going nowhere under the crumbling regime of president Josep Bartomeu.
The Argentina international met with new head coach Ronald Koeman earlier this week and was said to be furious after details of their chat was leaked by Catalan radion station RAC1.
Messi is now said to have informed Barcelona by fax of his decision to seek a transfer and is reportedly unwilling to report for training.
There are only a handful of clubs who are capable of matching his astronomical wages but the likes of Inter, PSG and the two Manchester giants are said to be monitoring the situation carefully.
Whoever Messi ultimately joins, former Barcelona striker Lineker hopes the star forward’s legacy will not be tainted by an possible acrimonious and drawn out departure.