Lionel Messi is on the brink of leaving Barcelona this summer.
In truth, the writing has been on the wall for some time with the Blaugrana crashing out of the Champions League against Bayern Munich in humiliating fashion, losing by a scoreline of 8-2.
And Messi's discontent at the club can even be traced back to February when he engaged in a public spat with former teammate and sporting director Eric Abidal, who has since been sacked.
Messi set to leave Barcelona
Messi informed Barcelona of his desire to leave the club imminently by sending them a fax on Tuesday night, though a legal battle could ensure regarding the time of his departure.
It's reported that Messi was only permitted to leave Camp Nou this summer, one year before the completion of his deal, on a free transfer before a clause's expiration on June 10.
However, it could be argued by Messi's team that the delays to the season brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic should have meant that the option to leave was postponed, too.
Why does Messi want to leave?
But one thing is for certain, Messi seems hellbent on leaving Barcelona in its current climate, whether that's within a matter of weeks or he's forced to wait until 2021.
That just leaves one pressing question: why?
We all have a vague idea of why Messi wants to kiss goodbye to his beloved club and that seems to orbit around the perceived mismanagement by president Josep Maria Bartomeu.
Messi has five reasons
Besides, any hope of Messi remaining with the Blaugrana seem to hinge on the presidential elections or whether his threat of leaving will prompt Bartomeu to fall on his sword.
However, it would appear as though there are more reasons than simply that and Spanish publication Sport have gone into greater detail about Messi's reasons for wanting to leave.
They published an article on the five reasons reasons that they consider to be behind Messi's huge decision and you can check out each of them down below:
1. No relationship with the board
It's noted that Messi has 'never had a good relationship' with Bartomeu and although he's been happy to tow the club line, he's never actually been on board with his leadership for five years.
Messi is said to have 'stayed out of love for the club' and didn't see the radical changes that he expected after the 8-2 humiliation against Bayern.
2. Sacking of Ernesto Valverde
Messi has gotten on well with all of his coaches at Barcelona, give or take a few arguments with Luis Enrique, so the harsh sacking of Valverde when they topped La Liga came as a 'blow' to him.
The appointment of Quique Setien is referred to as having been 'inexplicable'.
3. Disagreements over planning
Messi has apparently been 'unimpressed' with the club's sports planning for some time and even 'thinks the club has been destroying itself in each new window'.
There has been a clear dissatisfaction with the way Barcelona have spent the Neymar money and Messi's relationship with Abidal is rather kindly referred to as having been 'not fluid'.
4. Treatment of Luis Suarez
Messi is great friends with Suarez and was unhappy with the way Barcelona went about informing him that he was going to be axed. He thinks the Uruguayan was owed a lot more respect.
5. No winning project
Messi has long since had the decision to leave in his head but, credit to him, wanted to hear out Ronald Koeman before putting his thoughts in stone.
Nevertheless, it's claimed that he has little faith in Koeman's project bringing about the quick wins that he so badly desires at 33 years old.
On the one hand, the prospect of Messi playing in either the Premier League or Serie A is incredibly exciting and one that could answer plenty of key questions in the GOAT debate.
But on the other hand, it's hard not to feel sad about the prospect one of the greatest player-club collaborations in sporting history coming to something of an ignominious end.
Either way, though, it's a decision that could send shockwaves through football for years to come.
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