Lionel Messi to leave Barcelona next summer?

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Barcelona star Lionel Messi will leave the Nou Camp next summer, according to Punto Pelota journalist François Gallardo.

The 26-year-old, who is widely regarded as the world's best player, reportedly feels "betrayed" after a contract renewal agreement was rejected by the Catalan giants - and has subsequently made up his mind to leave the club at the end of the season.

Gallardo went on air on Thursday to reveal: "What I will discuss will probably make me receive some brutal reviews, but I have no problem with that. I do not care.

"In late September, just two months ago, one Barca player and his advisers met with the club. The footballer wanted a review of his contract and the Catalans promised to allow that player to do so. They agreed an increase in wages. Yet After a month, the club made ​​contact with them and explained that they could not fulfil it.

"So a month ago the relationship between advisors and the club broke down. The player feels betrayed and has decided to leave at the end of the season.

"The player has a verbal agreement other team, and in for February/March he will begin preparing his transfer.

"The decision is taken. Leo Messi will leave the club at the end of season."

However, Messi is contracted to Barcelona until 2018 after signing a new deal in February of this year, which means that any club who wants him would almost certainly need to break the world-record transfer fee.

The forward, who is in contention to win a record fifth consecutive Ballon d'Or award, has though been linked to several clubs in recent weeks, including Chelsea and Bayern Munich, where his former mentor Pep Guardiola currently coaches.

It still seems far-fetched; Messi has always made it clear that he intends to spend his entire career with Barcelona, but Gallardo appears convinced that the end is nigh.

(Quotes translated by 101greatgoals)

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