Gary Lineker has urged Barcelona’s board to help Lionel Messi leave the Nou Camp this summer if that is his wish.
Sensational reports coming out of the club on Tuesday confirmed that the Argentine has told the Catalans that he would like to leave.
The decision came shortly after one of the worst seasons in recent memory where the Spaniards ended it without any silverware.
An 8-2 thrashing at the hands of Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals was one of the worst results in their history, while they also relinquished their La Liga title to bitter rivals Real Madrid.
Messi has spent his entire professional career at Barcelona but more drama off the pitch last season ultimately looks like being the final straw.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner met with new head coach Ronald Koeman earlier this week and was said to be furious after details of their chat were leaked by Catalan radion station RAC1.
Messi is said to have informed Barcelona by fax of his decision to leave and now several top clubs in Europe are being linked.
It is not yet clear how much it could take to sign the forward, with differing stories about his potential release clause or whether or not he could leave on a free transfer.
There are only a handful of clubs who are capable of paying his massive wages with Manchester City, Manchester United, and Inter, all being credited with an interest.
And former England striker Lineker has urged his former club to do the right thing and allow Messi to leave without a fuss if he wants.
He tweeted: “If Messi is to leave Barcelona by activating a release clause, then I hope the club try to help, not hinder him.
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“He’s been fiercely loyal and their greatest ever player. It would be terribly sad if it finished with a fight between the player and the club.”
Should he be allowed to leave the Nou Camp, Messi would leave a massive hole, such has been his impact.
The 33-year-old has helped Barca win 10 La Liga titles, four Champions Leagues, and has scored 634 goals in all competitions.
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