Lionel Messi tells Barcelona he wants to leave: Report

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Lionel Messi (Image tweeted by @MessiMX10i)
Lionel Messi (Image tweeted by @MessiMX10i)

New Delhi : Six-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi has reportedly told Barcelona that he wants to leave - on a free transfer. He conveyed his message with a fax that is likely to trigger a legal battle over a buy-out clause worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Messi and Argentina's relations soured after the humiliating 8-2 Champions League quarter-final defeat to Bayern Munich. This was the first time since 2007 when Barcelona had to come out without a trophy.

The 33-year-old's demand, faxed by his lawyers, prompted protests against Barcelona's under-fire president Josep Maria Bartomeu outside the Camp Nou where Messi, synonymous with the club's most successful period, is worshipped by fans.

There are reports which claim that Messi wants to play under his former coach who is with Manchester City these days.

ESPN reported that Messi spoke last week with Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola about a possible move. A Barcelona-based Brazilian journalist also said Messi wants to play under his former Barcelona coach.

Barcelona is yet to give an official reaction to the development.

Messi joined Barcelona's youth academy at the age of 13 and made his debut in 2004 as a 17-year-old, before going on to score a club-record 634 goals.