Barcelona has confirmed that Lionel Messi will not be signing a new deal at the club.
The club said this in a tweet and statement on its website on Thursday.
In the statement the club said Despite FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi has reached an agreement and the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today but says this cannot happen because of Spanish LaLiga regulation on players’ registration.
Messi, who joined Barca’s youth set-up aged 13, was the club’s all-time top scorer and appearance maker with 672 goals in 778 games in all competitions.
Argentina forward was free to negotiate a transfer with other clubs after his deal ran out at the end of June, but Barcelona had always maintained he wanted to stay with the club.
Messi, who has spent his whole career at Barcelona, had been expected to sign a new five-year deal with the Catalan club, which would have included a salary reduction of 50%.
FC Barcelona wholeheartedly expresses its gratitude to the player for his contribution to the aggrandizement of the club and wishes him all the very best for the future in his personal and professional life.
La Liga chief Javier Tebas said last month that Barcelona, which has a total debt of more than 1 billion euros ($1.18 billion), would not be shown any leniency when it comes to obeying the league’s strict financial control rules.