Lionel Messi failed to report for pre-season medical tests at Barcelona yesterday, as he continued to seek a transfer from the Spanish club.
First team stars arrived at the Blaugrana’s Sant Joan Despi training centre yesterday to undergo health checks ahead of the new season, amid the continued threat of coronavirus.
New head coach, Ronald Koeman was in attendance with the rest of his coaching staff, while Jordi Alba and Martin Braithwaite were the first players to arrive at the facility.
Luis Suarez and Arturo Vidal also checked in, despite been linked with moves away from Camp Nou in recent weeks, but Messi deliberately avoided the screening.
Goal.com reported on Saturday that the six-time Ballon d’Or winner would skip the test to reinforce the message that he no longer desires to be a part of the squad.
Messi is still hoping that an amicable parting ways can be arranged, and wants to sit down with the board to finalise the terms of his exit as soon as possible.
The 33-year-old had a clause in his contract that allowed him to leave Barca on a free transfer at the end of each season, but this expired in June.
However, Messi’s legal team is planning to argue that the coronavirus enforced-break in the 2019-20 campaign ensured that the clause in question remained valid until August.
The Argentine international handed in a formal transfer request on Tuesday and Pep Guardiola has been in touch with the playmaker over a possible switch to Manchester City.
Messi’s strained relationship with senior officials at Barca reached breaking point following an 8-2 defeat to Barcelona in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.