Sports Football Lionel Messi to Return to Barcelona Training on Monday as Fans Protest...

Lionel Messi to Return to Barcelona Training on Monday as Fans Protest at Camp Nou

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Lionel Messi
It’s going to be a long one, guys… | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Lionel Messi is set to return to Barcelona training on Monday, while a group of protesting fans have descended on Camp Nou to confront president Josep Bartomeu over his involvement in the ordeal.

Supposed quotes attributed to Messi have also started to circulate online stating his time in Catalonia “is over”, though the legitimacy of such quotes have been questioned. What we do know is Messi has communicated to Barcelona that that he would like his contract to be terminated, and that he’s allowed to leave this summer.

The formal request to leave came on Tuesday, with a lack of belief in the sporting project and a desperately fractured relationship with those that run the club being among the primary reasons for his decision.

Another fake document circulated online earlier on Wednesday claiming to be a copy what Messi sent to the club to announce his decision, with the constant media storm surrounding his future coughing up all manner of apparent ‘updates’ since news initially broke.

A legal battle could ensue between Barça and Messi’s team as he tries to force his way out of the club, given a clause (the deadline for which has passed) which allows him to terminate his contract at the end of each season.

Though despite all this, TyC Sports claim that the 33-year-old will report to training on Monday as normal, so as to avoid giving his employers an advantage in any future legal proceedings. Whether or not he trains on his own or with the rest of the group will rest on new boss Ronald Koeman’s shoulders.

Amid the ongoing frenzy, a group of supporters demonstrating outside of Camp Nou – in protest of the people running the club – have broken through the gates to confront president Josep Bartomeu over the future of Messi. As per David Ibanez, footage shows fans entering the Camp Nou gate, with the aim of ‘going for’ Bartomeu.

Some claim that Messi’s decision is a ploy to have the president removed, or at least force him to resign from his post, in order to ensure a brighter future for the club. As noticed in the above video, the emotions from supporters are in clear favour of the Argentine.

A report from Miquel Blázquez contradicts those messages entirely, claiming that an amicable agreement has been made between club and player that will see Messi leave, but for no less than €150m.

It’s stated that his departure will be similar to that of Cristiano Ronaldo’s, where the club’s blessing was given so long as their valuation was met.

For more from Ross Kennerley, follow him on Twitter!

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