Messi 'deeply distressed' after Barcelona announce he's set to leave

The forward was hopeful of extending his stay with the Catalan club

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Lionel Messi did not expect negotiations to sign a new contract with Barcelona to have an unhappy ending.

The forward is devastated at Barça's announcement on Thursday that he will leave the club after 21 years at Camp Nou.

Barça said they had an agreeement with Messi over a new deal but that La Liga's financial rules made it impossible to register him for the new season.

Messi was hopeful of signing a new deal and extending his stay at the club. More than 20 years after arriving from Rosario, that no longer looks possible.

The player had arrived in Barcelona from Ibiza on Wednesday to finalise his new five-year contract with the club.

But on Thursday he received the confirmation that it would not be possible and that was reflected in his mood.

Sources have told SPORT that the Argentina international was deeply distressed to find out Barça would be making the announcement.

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