Lionel Messi has been left 'emotionally destroyed' after his shock Barcelona exit was announced last night.
The 34-year-old megastar was convinced that a new five-year deal had been agreed upon after weeks of back and forth negotiations.
The Argentine, who has been a free agent since July, had even agreed to a 50 percent wage reduction to enable him to see out the rest of his career with the Catalan giants.
Reports in Spain as recently as Wednesday had indicated a deal was on the brink – before last night's dramatic turn of events.
It now seems inevitable that Messi's legendary 21-year career at the Nou Camp is over.
Now, the situation has left Messi distraught according to a report by Diario SPORT.
The star is in a state of shock after the deal fell apart, with Barcelona blaming financial restrictions placed on them by La Liga for their inability to retain their talisman.
The Catalan outfit's financial issues have been well-documented over the past few weeks.
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Losing Messi will hit them in the pocket too – the club have raked in riches in merchandising from their iconic star over the years.
Barca fans took to the streets outside the club's headquarters last night in protest at the loss of their talisman.
Joan Laporta, the club president, is set to speak publicly on Messi's departure on Friday.
Barcelona are known to be operating above their salary cap, which has restricted them from registering any new signings or contracts.
Barca’s club statement last night read: "Despite having reached an agreement between FC Barcelona and Leo Messi and with the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today, it will not be possible to formalise it due to economic obstacles (Spanish La Liga regulations)."
“Given this situation, Lionel Messi will not continue to be linked to FC Barcelona. Both parties deeply regret that the wishes of both the player and the Club cannot finally be fulfilled.
“Barça would like to thank with all its heart the player's contribution to the enhancement of the institution and wishes him the best in his personal and professional life.”
Messi is Barca's all-time top scorer with 672 goals in 778 appearances for the club, while he has won 10 La Liga titles and the Champions League on four occasions.
Paris Saint Germain are believed to be the early frontrunners to snap up the signature of the six-time Ballon d'Or winner.
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