La Liga: ‘I will STAY (for now),’ states Lionel Messi

Messi vs Ronaldo

‘I will STAY (for now),’ states Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi declares that he will remain at Barcelona.

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.

The announcement brings a halt to wide speculation of where the diminutive Argentine would head, with Manchester City leading the race for his signature.

The six-time World Player of the Year said:

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,’
‘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 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.