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    FC Barcelona Confirms Lionel Messi Exit, after 21 Years with Club

    FC Barcelona confirmed that star footballer Lionel Messi will not continue at the club as both the parties decided to part ways.

    Barcelona have dropped a bombshell statement confirming that Lionel Messi will leave the club after 21 years, joining them in 2000 at the age of 13.

    Messi has spent his entire career at Barcelona, coming through the club's academy before going on to score 672 goals in 778 appearances after making his senior debut in 2003.

    Messi, largely regarded as the best player of all time, has spent his entire senior career at Barcelona and has won countless trophies at the Camp Nou, including the Champions League four times.

    However, his time in Catalonia has come to an end after Barcelona confirmed that due to 'economic and structural obstacles' his contract can not be renewed, making him a free agent and opening the door for a shock move to Manchester City.

    "Despite having reached an agreement between FC Barcelona and Leo Messi and with the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today, it cannot be formalized due to economic and structural obstacles (Spanish LaLiga regulations)," the club said in a statement.

    "Given this situation, Lionel Messi will not continue linked to FC Barcelona. Both parties deeply regret that the wishes of both the player and the Club cannot finally be fulfilled.

    "Barca would like to thank with all its heart the player's contribution to the enhancement of the institution and wishes him the best in his personal and professional life."

    Messi's relationship with Barca has been on shaky ground since he announced his intention to leave last summer but his exit was prevented as the Argentine was unwilling to go to court with the club over a clause in his contract.

    City were immediately made favourites to sign the six-time Ballon d'Or winner, and the Blues' club's Chief Operating Officer Omar Berrada has since told the Manchester Evening news that the club would be able to afford a move for Messi.

    Whether City will make another attempt to sign Messi this summer remains to be seen, with the club set to announce the £100m signing of Jack Grealish imminently and still pursuing Tottenham striker Harry Kane.

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