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Lionel Messi and his legal team have told Barcelona not to expect the Argentine for pre-season medical tests.
This is coming after Messi dropped a bombshell on Tuesday by stating his decision to leave the club after 20 years.
Messi’s contract is set to expire at the end of the 2020-21 season but his legal team believed they have activated a clause they believe will allow him to terminate his deal unilaterally.
By activating the clause, Messi and his team believe that his contract has expired and as such, the club legend does not have any need to partake in Barcelona’s pre-season medical tests, Goal reported.
Carrying out the examinations could be construed by Barcelona as recognition that he remains part of the club, an assertion that Leo and his lawyers reject.
The 33-year-old wants to leave the club on good terms and wants to meet with the board to negotiate his exit from the Catalan side.
Messi is hoping to avoid a drawn-out saga, as Barcelona could potentially challenge his assertion that he is able to activate the clause allowing him to opt-out of his contract at the end of each season.
That clause expired in June but Messi’s legal team will argue it was valid until the end of the 2019-20 season, which was extended because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Rumours of Messi’s unhappiness have been rampant for months, with Barca enduring a difficult 2019-20 campaign that saw them sack two managers and fail to win any trophies.
Ronald Koeman has taken over as head coach at Camp Nou to replace Quique Setien, who was sacked after the Bayern defeat along with sporting director Eric Abidal.
Messi cut his vacation short to meet with Koeman last week, telling the Dutchman in their meeting that he no longer believed in the club’s project.
The likes of Manchester City, Juventus, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Inter have all been linked with the Barca sensation, with L’Equipe having reported that he has chosen to join Pep Guardiola’s side.