Messi has confirmed to Goal that he is staying on with FC Barcelona.
"I'll continue at Barcelona and my attitude won't change, no matter how much I have wanted to go. I told the club and the president that I wanted to go. I've been telling him all year. I thought my time in Barcelona was over, sadly - I always wanted to finish my career here", he said in an interview.
The famous football player stated that he had decided to stay to avoid a legal dispute with the club, calling the management of Barca led by Josep Maria Bartomeu a "disaster".
"I wanted a winning project and to win titles with the club to continue expanding the legend of Barcelona.— Goal (@goal) September 4, 2020
"The truth is that there has been no project or anything for a long time, they juggle and cover holes as things go by." pic.twitter.com/Q9m6Or0hOV
Lionel Messi: "I told to the club, to the president in particular, that I wanted to leave. They know this since the start of the past season. I told them during all last 12 months. But I will stay here because I don't want to start a legal war". 🚨 #FCB #Messi #Barcelona— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) September 4, 2020
Sphera Sports reported earlier today, citing sources, Messi has recorded a message, confirming his intention to stay at Barca, after rumours of his leaving shattered the football world.
Leo Messi YA HA GRABADO el comunicado en el que CONFIRMA su continuidad en el Barça, según le consta a fuentes cercanas a Sphera Sports. pic.twitter.com/TyKH7vwNby— Sphera Sports (@SpheraSports) September 4, 2020
Several sports news outlets have reported that the Argentine superstar did not show up for training on 31 August at the Barcelona Football Club facilities and failed to report for coronavirus testing at Barca a day earlier, fueling the allegations of his transfer.
The 33-year-old notified the Spanish football club of his intention to leave after a crushing 8-2 Champions League defeat at the hands of eventual title-winners Bayern Munich.
Messi has been at Barcelona since 2000 (he joined the Barcelona youth academy at the age of 13) and has won dozens of trophies and even headlined two treble-winning seasons. The club’s last Champions League win, however, came in 2015 and it has since suffered embarrassing exits from the competition annually. It is widely believed that Messi has been increasingly at odds with the way the club is run.