Barcelona confirm Lionel Messi...


Barcelona confirm Lionel Messi will not return to the club

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Barcelona have confirmed that Lionel Messi will not return to the club. 

The 34-year old is technically a free agent after his previous deal at the Camp Nou expired with the end of last season.

In a statement, Barcelona said, "Despite FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi having reached an agreement and the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today, this cannot happen because of financial and structural obstacles (Spanish Liga regulations).

"As a result of this situation, Messi shall not be staying on at FC Barcelona. Both parties deeply regret that the wishes of the player and the club will ultimately not be fulfilled.

"FC Barcelona wholeheartedly expresses its gratitude to the player for his contribution to the aggrandisement of the club and wishes him all the very best for the future in his personal and professional life."

Despite Barça's current financial woes, it appeared fait accompli that Messi would sign a new deal after he landed in the city following a break in Ibiza.

Marca reported this evening that Messi and Barcelona were further apart than ever in their talks.

And it's since been confirmed by the club, that Messi will not return.

Barcelona's hands are tied by the financial restrictions handed down by La Liga. The Catalan giants have been unable to register new signings Sergio Aguero, Memphis Depay, Eric Garcia or Emerson as they first need to trim their wage bill.

La Liga president Javier Tebas was asked last month if he would turn a blind eye to Barça's situation if it meant Messi would stay in the league.

"No, I won't [turn a blind eye] for Messi, it's impossible," he replied, "There are many workers [at La Liga] and in the economic control [department] as well.

"This is a right that the clubs have and we have to safeguard the integrity of La Liga.

"We often have to explain [the economic controls] to agents and players because they don't know about it or think clubs are deceiving them, and we've had to explain it in recent years."

Marca claim an important meeting took place on Thursday between Messi's representatives - including his father Jorge - and Barcelona's top brass. However, the outcome of those talks was far from positive.

Catalan radio station Rac1 reported on Thursday evening that Messi told Barça chiefs he does not like the current squad.

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Barcelona Eric Garcia Javier Tebas La Liga Lionel Messi Memphis Depay Sergio Aguero

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