Lionel Messi has been left “shocked” and “dejected” by Barcelona’s failure to renew his contract.
Messi has been a free agent since July 1, but believed a long-term deal on a slashed salary had been agreed.
The 34-year-old even looked forward to meeting up with his teammates to resume training on Friday.
However, Barcelona announced Messi will not be staying at the club, due to financial restrictions placed upon them by LaLiga.
Messi’s father, Jorge, flew to Barcelona to meet with the club’s officials to close the deal and sign the new contract. But he was left stunned when the president, Joan Laporta, said that the club was not in a position to register the Argentine.
According to Diario SPORT, the decision has “emotionally destroyed” Messi as he did “not expect it at all”.