Ronald Koeman’s first day of pre-season… and Messi DOESN’T show up: Wantaway Barcelona star refuses to attend scheduled COVID tests as he attempts to force a mega-money transfer to Manchester City
- Argentina star Lionel Messi handed in a transfer request at Barcelona this week
- The 33-year-old was expected back for pre-season COVID-19 tests on Sunday
- Messi has not shown up for the checks as he looks to quit the LaLiga club
- Other Barcelona first-team stars turned up for the tests, including Luis Suarez
The 33-year-old iconic forward shocked the world of football last week by putting in a transfer request at the LaLiga giants after a 16-year career which has see him score over 600 goals and win 33 trophies.
The Catalans were planning on making a serious effort to try and keep their talisman at the Nou Camp as the first-team squad return to pre-season training next week.
Lionel Messi has refused to show up for pre-season coronavirus tests at Barcelona
Barcelona’s stars reported for pre-season coronavirus tests at the training ground on Sunday
There was another day of protesting outside the Nou Camp by supporters against the board
Anti-Josep Bartomeu posters were distributed as fans made their feelings known in the protest
But according to several reports, Messi has refused to take part in the squad’s COVID-19 testing scheme on Sunday which all players have to do before training begins again on Monday.
The striker was due at the Barcelona training ground just after 10am but did not show up at Joan Gamper training complex.
Luis Suarez, on the other hand, did turn up for the coronavirus tests despite reportedly being told by Ronald Koeman he is no longer required at Barcelona.
Other first-team stars, including Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Jordi Alba, were spotted turning up for the pre-season test. Arturo Vidal also showed up despite rumours he is set to leave the Camp Nou on a free transfer.
Luis Suarez showed up at Barcelona’s coronavirus tests despite being linked with a move away
First-team stars such as goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen showed up for the tests on Sunday
Ronald Koeman was spotted entering the Barcelona training centre ahead of the checks
Koeman was also seen arriving at the Barcelona training centre as he prepares to enter his first season in charge of the side he won the European Cup with in 1992.
Messi’s camp had warned the LaLiga club that he was not going to appear on Sunday in order to try and force through a move to Manchester City.
It is believed that the 33-year-old will be weakened in the legal dispute with Barcelona should he continue to abstain from pre-season training.
LaLiga issued a statement of…