Barcelona respond to Lionel Messi after he tells them he won’t attend pre-season testing

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Lionel Messi has further distanced himself from Barcelona by refusing to turn up to the club's first day of pre-season.

According to journalist Alfredo Martinez on Twitter, the Argentinian forward won't attend PCR tests on Sunday as Barcelona prepare for the start of the new La Liga season.

Messi wants to leave Barcelona and isn't willing to co-operate at the club's Ciutat Esportiva training ground for the start of pre-season and Covid-19 testing.

The 33-year-old won't be allowed to take part in training, which begins on Monday, if he doesn't take the tests.

RAC journalist Gerard Romero claims that it's a 'joint decision with his lawyers.'

However, Cadena SER report that Barcelona could attempt to punish Messi if he doesn't show up on Sunday.

The story has been corroborated by Goal.

Barcelona respond to Messi

According to Spanish outlet Sport, Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu will send a message to Messi and his lawyers by burofax informing the club captain that he remains under contract and must attend coronavirus testing on Sunday.

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Messi's camp are confident that he has activated the clause that allows him to get out of his contract this summer and is allowed to leave on a free transfer.

A messy battle is expected to commence between the two parties, with Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain closely monitoring the situation.

Serie A giants Juventus are also looking into the possibility of securing a stunning move for the six-time Ballon d'Or winner, according to Spanish football journalist Guillem Balague.

"Perhaps most intriguingly of all, Juventus are now looking at the hugely unlikely scenario of organising some very daring financial deals and sponsorships that could see Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo playing together for the first time," Balague wrote for BBC Sport.

"What a mouth-watering prospect that would be. But it is also close to impossible."

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