A journalist in Spain has sensationally claimed that Lionel Messi has an agreement in place that will see the four-time Ballon d’Or winner leave Barcelona next summer. According to Punto Pelota reporter Francois Gallardo, Messi’s relationship with the Catalan giant’s management has broken down, leading to his decision to leave at the end of the season.
“For a month the relationship between Messi’s advisors and the club is null,” Gallardo said. “The player feels betrayed and has decided to leave at the end of the season. In fact, he has a verbal agreement with another team and from February or March will begin planning his transfer.”
Gallardo claims that in late September, Messi demanded an increase in his salary after learning that Barca’s new Brazilian star Neymar earns $1.35 million more per season than he does. While an increase to the Argentine’s salary was initially agreed, the club later came back to Messi’s representatives saying it could no longer honor the agreement.
“The decision is taken,” Gallardo claims. “Leo Messi will leave Barca at the end of the season. He will go to a country very close to ours. The situation is irreversible and his agents have already spoken to the possible destination club,” where he will receive an “outrageous” salary increase.