Lionel Messi looked all but certain to stay at Barcelona for the remaining of his current contract after no legal breakthrough has been made over his release clause.
The Argentine forward has now confirmed he has changed his mind and will remain at Barcelona, just 10 days after he handed in a transfer request.
Messi’s dissatisfaction had been growing long before last month’s Champions League humiliation at the hands of Bayern Munich which resulted in a 8-2 defeat.
Messi had been unhappy at the way in which former manager Ernesto Valverde was dealt with prior to his sack and never saw eye-to-eye with Quique Setien, who was sacked after the defeat against Bayern.
He held crunch talks Ronald Koeman, but was not convinced with the Dutchman’s vision for the club and was saddened to see the coach sanction the exit of his close friend Luis Suarez.
And, Messi and his father became embroiled in a bitter dispute with Barcelona over the authenticiy of a €700million release clause in his contract.
Both La Liga and Barca insist the clause is still valid, and despite his father continuing to argue to the contrary, Messi is now ready to commit his future to the club.
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In a pre-recorded interview, the forward said: ‘I thought and was sure that I was free to leave, the president always said that at the end of the season I could decide if I stayed or not.
“We do not know which contract they have analysed and what basis they conclude that the same contract with a ‘release clause’ would be applicable in the event that the player decided to unilaterally terminate the contract, with effect from the end of the 2019/20 season,” read the statement.
‘Now they cling to the fact that I did not say it before June 10, when it turns out that on June 10 we were competing for La Liga in the middle of this awful coronavirus and this disease altered all the season.
‘And this is the reason why I am going to continue in the club. Now I am going to continue in the club because the president told me that the only way to leave was to pay the €700 million (£624m/$823m) clause, and that this is impossible.
‘There was another way and it was to go to trial,” he added.
“I would never go to court against Barca because it is the club that I love, which gave me everything since I arrived.
‘It is the club of my life, I have made my life here.’ ‘Barca gave me everything and I gave it everything. I know that it never crossed my mind to take Barca to court.’