• A chat with Koeman pushed Messi to finalize his decision of leaving Barca
  • Koeman recently replaced Setien as Barca's head coach
  • Messi has won a record six Ballon d'Or awards

Lionel Messi has decided to leave FC Barcelona after club’s new head coach Ronald Koeman reportedly told him that his "privileges are over" and that he has to "do everything for the team".

Messi, who has been associated with Barcelona for almost two decades and has led them to so many glorious moments over the years, has informed the La Liga side that he wants to leave the club this summer. He still has a year left in his current deal with a release clause of $826 million. It is understood that Messi wants to trigger the clause in his contract that will let him leave as a free agent. However, Barcelona have said the clause expired in June, but Messi believes the clause can still be triggered due to the extension of the 2019-20 campaign.

The 33-year-old is linked heavily with a move to Manchester City that are reportedly trying to figure out a way to sign Messi without breaching any more Financial Fair Play rules. The Premier League side is still unaware if it will sign Messi for free or will have to dig into his release clause. It is believed that Man City’s officials spoke to Messi’s representatives some time back as they were well informed of Messi’s plans of leaving the club in the near future. This happened well before Barcelona’s 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich at the Champions League.

While Messi was upset with the result, his recent conversation with Koeman also pushed him to make the call of leaving Barcelona.

It was earlier reported that Messi cut short his vacation to meet Koeman to discuss his Barcelona future. Messi met Koeman at his residence, where he admitted to the new Barca manager that he sees himself "more out of the club than in it."

According to Spanish publication Diario Olé, Messi and Koeman’s chat turned out to be a total disaster and that prompted the Catalans skipper to finalize his decision of leaving the club.

"Your privileges in the squad are over, you have to do everything for the team. I'm going to be inflexible and you have to think about the team," Koeman told Messi, according to Diario Olé’s report.

Lionel Messi has informed Barcelona that he wants to "unilaterally" terminate his contract with the Spanish giants, a club source confirms to AFP.
Lionel Messi has informed Barcelona that he wants to "unilaterally" terminate his contract with the Spanish giants, a club source confirms to AFP. AFPTV / AFPTV teams

It has also been reported that Man City boss Pep Guardiola spoke to Messi over the phone a few days after Barcelona’s Champions League elimination. Guardiola has offered Messi a project in the Premier League, provided the Argentinean moved to England ahead of the 2020-21 season.