FC Barcelona have confirmed that Lionel Messi has handed in an official transfer request.
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The Barcelona captain has decided to leave the Catalan giants and wants to activate a clause in his contract that would allow him to do so for free.
While the Blaugrana are yet to release an official statement, the club confirmed to Associated Press that they have received a fax from Messi about his intentions on Tuesday.
Various sources in Spain claim the board called an emergency meeting on Tuesday evening to discuss a way forward.
Messi and the LaLiga side could now enter into a legal battle about the special clause in his contract, which the player's representatives are referring to.
The board are understood to insist that the clause expired at the end of May – the traditional end of the season, while Messi's team believe the expiry date should be set for 31 August with the 2019/20 campaign only ending last Sunday with the UEFA Champions League final.
Officially, the 33-year-old's current contract only runs out in 2021, and it includes a €700 million (R13.8 billion) release clause.
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