Lionel Messi turned up early and trained alone on his return to FC Barcelona, just 2 weeks after going on strike and demanding a transfer
8th September 2020

  • Lionel Messi trained alone upon returning to FC Barcelona, just two weeks after asking to leave the Spanish club.
  • The Argentine handed in a transfer request in August, however confirmed to Goal last Friday he would stay at the Camp Nou because it is "impossible" for any team to meet his $825 million release clause.
  • The 33-year-old had failed to show up for the start of the club's pre-season, however returned on Monday, when he trained away from the rest of the squad.
  • He arrived early for the session, although it is not clear why.
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Lionel Messi trained alone upon returning to FC Barcelona, just two weeks after asking to leave the Spanish club.

The 33-year-old handed in a transfer request in August shortly after the club's 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League. However, he confirmed to Goal last Friday he would stay at the Camp Nou until the end of his contract in 2021 because it is "impossible" for any team to meet his $825 million release clause.

Messi had failed to show up for the start of the club's pre-season, however returned on Monday, when he trained away from the rest of the squad. He arrived early at the club's training ground, although it is not clear why.

Philippe Coutinho, who spent last season on-loan at Bayern, also trained alone. 

Messi and Barcelona had been at odds as to whether he was allowed to leave the club on a free transfer.

The Argentine believed a clause in his contract allowed him to do so if he notified the club by the end of the season. Barcelona insisted otherwise, stating its belief that the clause had expired in June when the campaign was originally set to end before the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Messi said he could have taken the club to court to push through a move away, however didn't out of love.

Messi will be allowed to leave Barcelona next summer for free unless he signs a new contract, with Manchester City and Paris Saint Germain the front runners for his signature.

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