‘It was a brutal drama… now I am going to continue in the club’: Lionel Messi confirms he will begrudgingly STAY at Barcelona for now with superstar finally giving up on his fight for move to Manchester City in stunning U-turn
- Lionel Messi confirmed he will remain at Barcelona despite his transfer request
- The superstar has given up on a stunning move to Manchester City this summer
- The 33-year-old hinted avoiding a court battle was his main reason for staying
- His father Jorge had reiterated that his reported release clause does not exist
- The statement also took aim at LaLiga for attempting to block a move to England
Lionel Messi performed an incredible climbdown on Friday, admitting defeat in his attempt to force a move to Manchester City.
The 33-year-old confirmed he was staying at Barcelona until the end of the forthcoming season because the club had blocked his transfer by insisting on demanding his astronomical release clause was met.
‘I am going to continue at this club because the president has told me the only way I can leave is if I pay the €700million (£625m) and that is impossible,’ he said.
Lionel Messi has confirmed he will remain at Barcelona due to his desire to avoid a legal battle
The superstar’s bombshell U-turn was officially announced in an interview on Friday evening
Messi’s desire to avoid a courtroom battle with the club is the main reason behind his decision
‘The only other way was to go to court and I would never take Barcelona to court because I love the club. The president always said that at the end of the season I could decide if I wanted to go or if I wanted to stay and in the end he did not keep his word.’
Messi appeared to be willing to fight on Friday when his father Jorge issued a statement that appeared to quote directly from his contract stating: ‘The release clause will not apply after the end of the 2019-20 season.’
The statement criticised La Liga for supporting Barcelona’s right to demand £625m for his sale and condemned the Spanish league’s ‘obvious lack of impartiality’.
But that was the last shot fired before the white flag was raised.
Messi sat down with Goal to discuss his reasons behind his disillusionment with Barcelona
Messi told the club he wanted to leave last month after growing tired of the club’s leadership
La Liga responded by accusing Messi of having taken the clause out of context. Messi told new coach Ronald Koeman he wanted to leave Barca two weeks ago. Five days later he sent the club a burofax informing them that he believed he was a free agent having officially triggered a clause in his contract.
The club insisted Messi had missed a June 10 deadline to exercise it.
Messi said in an interview with website Goal on Friday night: ‘We were sure I was a free agent. The president always said at the end of the season I could decide…