Barcelona players are arriving at the training ground for the first time since news broke that Lionel Messi would be leaving.
A Barcelona club statement said: “Despite FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi having reached an agreement and the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today, this cannot happen because of financial and structural obstacles (Spanish Liga regulations).
“As a result of this situation, Messi shall not be staying on at FC Barcelona.
“Both parties deeply regret that the wishes of the player and the club will ultimately not be fulfilled.
“FC Barcelona wholeheartedly expresses its gratitude to the player for his contribution to the aggrandisement of the club and wishes him all the very best for the future in his personal and professional life.”
Barcelona were required to reduce their ever-growing wage bill to make room for Messi’s new contract.
A number of high-earners at the club including the likes of Ousmane Dembele, Philippe Coutinho and Samuel Umitit have been made available in the transfer market to try and raise funds.
Griezmann too has reportedly been a player Barcelona are keen to offload to save some money.
And some Barcelona fans have voiced their anger at the France international, blaming Griezmann for being the one responsible for Messi’s impending exit.
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