Sky Sports News’ Dharmesh Sheth on The Transfer Show:
“Barcelona have confirmed Lionel Messi will leave the club and they have put it down to economic and structural obstacles.
“If you rewind to this time last summer, Messi announced that he wanted to leave Barcelona with one year remaining on his contract – he believed a clause in his contract allowed him to leave on a free transfer because he had noted his intention to leave the club by a certain date.
“Barcelona did not agree with that, there was a bit of a dispute between both parties and in the end, Messi reluctantly stayed at the club. He did say he wanted to leave and he cited family issues as well as another reason to finally decide he would remain at Barcelona.
“Since then, he has enjoyed a very good season, not so much trophy wise, but on the pitch for Barcelona and it seemed all systems go for a new, long-term contract that would take him beyond even his playing career – there was talk of life after playing, but within the institution of FC Barcelona.
“And now we have this news that Barcelona have said he will not continue at FC Barcelona and you just wonder now what the next step will be?
“Is this it, is this the full stop on Messi and FC Barcelona because they’ve said he will not continue with the club, or are there talks still to be had between both parties because they said it could not “be formalised because of structural and economic obstacles.”
“You wonder if those structural and economic obstacles can be overcome and yet provide a future for Messi a Barcelona. But as it stands, he does not have a future at that club.”
WHY DID 50-PER-CENT PAY CUT FALL THROUGH?
Sky Sports News’ Kaveh Solhekol on The Transfer Show:
“This is all about money, that’s all this is about. Messi was on an incredible contract at Barcelona. He was on something like £100m a year. That ran out at the end of last season, and going forward there was no way Barcelona could give him that kind of contract again.
“The first reason is that they have financial problems because of the pandemic. The second is the financial fair play rules in Spanish football, there was no way they could give him another contract of the same size.
“Throughout the summer they’ve been working on a compromise, and the deal on the table was that he would have to take a pay cut. Up until this week, it looked like he was willing to accept that, with his wages dropping to around £50m. But in the past couple of days, everything has changed.
“We don’t know yet if that’s because he feels like he can get more money somewhere else, maybe a club is talking to him and saying come to Paris, we want to reunite you with Neymar, or what Barcelona are saying is true, and even if Barcelona did give him a 50-per-cent pay cut they would not be able to keep him.”
Source: Sky Sports