Barcelonahave officially confirmed that Lionel Messi has left the club, blaming La Liga’s financial regulations for forcing the star out of the Nou Camp.
Messi was widely expected to sign a new deal, after his previous one expired at the start of July.
However, the Blaugrana have now officially announced that the club’s record scorer will no longer be linked to the club and will be available on a free transfer.
A statement on the club’s official site reads: “Despite having reached an agreement between FC Barcelona and Leo Messi and with the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today, it cannot be formalized due to economic and structural obstacles (Spanish LaLiga regulations).
“Given this situation, Lionel Messi will not continue to be linked to FC Barcelona. Both parties deeply regret that the wishes of both the player and the Club cannot finally be fulfilled.
“Barça would like to thank with all its heart the player’s contribution to the enhancement of the institution and wishes him the best in his personal and professional life.”
Messi is Barca’s all-time top scorer with 672 goals in 778 appearances for the club, while he has won 10 La Liga titles, four Champions Leagues and the Ballon d’Or six times.