Sad News! Lionel Messi ready to leave Barcelona
Messi has started the new season in fine form, driving Barcelona to the La Liga summit after a summer of woes at the Nou Camp.
Ernesto Valverde’s side have bounced back emphatically from the loss of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain and, after Real Madrid’s 1-0 defeat to Real Betis last night, sit seven points above their fierce rivals
However, Barcelona’s long-term future in La Liga is in doubt with Catalonia desperate to secure independence from Spain.
And Don Balon claim that, if they end up leaving the league, then Messi is ready to up and leave due to a thirst to pit his wits against the biggest and best teams in world football.
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Earlier this month, a Catalonian referendum was rejected by the Spanish government.
He is also wary of how his name represents a huge brand and playing in a league of minnows could have a detrimental effect on that.
Additionally, Messi is yet to put pen to paper on a new contract.
And he is delaying any decision on his future until after the referendum – in news that will prick the ears of Pep Guardiola over at Manchester City.
Speaking last month, Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu said the Argentina international was already playing under the terms of an improved contract.
He said: “The official photo with the signature we will do, there’s no rush.
“The contract was signed by his father, as well as that of his foundation and his image contract.
“He doesn’t need to sign it, his father already has. He is already playing with the new contract.
“There’s no better test to his commitment than to see him play.”