The 33-year-old handed in a transfer request seven days ago and informed the club that he no longer wished to play for them.
Messi has threatened to leave in the past but never in such a formal manner and he failed to turn up for PCR tests at the club’s training ground on Sunday night.
Despite his absence, Barcelona maintain that their position has not changed and that the only way that Messi leaves the club this summer is if a club pays his £623m release clause.
But with considerable debate on either side over the legal terms of Messi’s deal, the matter looks as though it’s headed for court to settle the dispute.
Messi’s representatives argue that he is allowed to leave for free this summer but Barcelona deny the claims, as the club say they were not notified of the Argentine’s desire to do so before the end of the season.
Manchester City are waiting for developments about Messi’s future before making a concrete move for the Argentine, though the forward has already Argentine has already informed Pep Guardiola that he wants to move to the Etihad.
City are willing to put up a fee for Messi but they will wait to see how the matter is settled between the forward and the club before making a decision on how they progress.
Messi should incur a fine for failing to show for training but the situation is so delicate that the club may refuse to do so at this moment in time, as they’re wary of upsetting the Argentine’s camp any further.