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Lionel Messi: Barcelona confirm star to leave club

Barcelona have announced that Lionel Messi won't be signing a new contract at the Camp Nou.

SEVILLE, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 10: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona reacts during the Copa del Rey Semi Final First Leg Match between Sevilla FC and FC Barcelona at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on February 10, 2021 in Seville, Spain. Sporting stadiums around Spai
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Barcelona have announced that Lionel Messi won't be staying at the Camp Nou, despite the club agreeing a new contract with the Argentina superstar.

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Messi contract not possible due to "financial and structural obstacles" - Barcelona

In a statement released on Thursday, Barça said "financial and structural obstacles" mean Messi's contract renewal at the LaLiga giants cannot be signed.

The club, who are over 1bn euros in debt, have been working to put together a new contract for Messi while also ensuring they adhere to LaLiga's financial fair play rules, but say they have been unable to.

The 34-year-old, who racked up a club-record 778 appearances and 672 goals for Barcelona following his first-team debut in 2004, has been a free agent since his last Blaugrana deal expired at the end of June.

Lionel Messi: Barcelona confirm star to leave club
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"Messi shall not be staying at FC Barcelona"

Barcelona's statement in full:

“Despite FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi having reached an agreement and the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today, this cannot happen because of financial and structural obstacles (Spanish Liga regulations).

“As a result of this situation, Messi shall not be staying on at FC Barcelona. Both parties deeply regret that the wishes of the player and the club will ultimately not be fulfilled.

“FC Barcelona wholeheartedly expresses its gratitude to the player for his contribution to the aggrandisement of the club and wishes him all the very best for the future in his personal and professional life.”