The Argentina international is planning to leave this summer, with Manchester City thought to be the club he wants to sign for.
Messi has spent his entire professional career at the Camp Nou, winning six Ballon d’Ors, 10 La Liga titles, six Copa del Reys, three Club World Cups and four Champions Leagues.
But he has grown frustrated by the way the club is being run and decided to leave after Barcelona were hammered 8-2 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
It’s set to be an acrimonious exit. Messi believes he can leave on a free transfer, whereas Barcelona remain insistent he can’t terminate his contract.
According to reports in Spain, his £632million release clause has expired, which means potential suitors could hope to sign him at a reduced price.
He has been advised by his legal team to not turn up to coronavirus testing on Sunday or pre-season training on Monday in order to strengthen his position.
And Messi did not arrive with the squad on Sunday, according to The Mirror.
New manager Ronald Koeman was there, along with Luis Suarez – who is expected to leave the club as well, Gerard Pique and Antoine Griezmann.
It’s been reported that Messi’s first thought since deciding to leave Barcelona was to contact Pep Guardiola.
Messi hopes they can reunite at Manchester City.
He is also believed to think he can win the Ballon d’Or for the next two seasons if he arrives at the Etihad.