Lionel Messi has followed through on his threat and not turned up for the start of preseason as he continues to push for a move away from Barcelona.
The Barca players were due in for coronavirus tests on Sunday ahead of Monday’s first training session since Ronald Koeman was appointed as coach. Messi was due at 10.15 a.m. CET but did not show up. Sources had told ESPN that Messi planned to skip Sunday’s meeting.
Messi, 33, has been advised by his legal team that taking part in preseason for the 2020-21 campaign would compromise the claim that he was able leave for free at the end of 2019-20.
Luis Suarez could also be leaving Barcelona this summer but he was at the training ground on Sunday for the tests. Suarez, 33, has been told he’s not in Koeman’s plans for the forthcoming season but will continue to train.