Barcelona says Messi will not stay with club


FILE – In this file photo dated Thursday, April 29, 2021, Barcelona’s Lionel Messi reacts during the Spanish La Liga match against Granada at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain. Lionel Messi and Barcelona are closer to signing a new deal that would keep the Argentina soccer star at the Spanish club through the end of his playing career, according to an unidentified insider Friday July 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort, FILE)

MADRID — Barcelona say Lionel Messi will not stay with the club.

Barcelona said in a statement that a deal between the club and the player had been reached but financial “obstacles” made it impossible for the player to remain with the club.

It blamed “Spanish league regulations” for not allowing the club to sign a new contract with the player.

His previous one had ended on June 30.

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