Barcelona President Joan Laporta has been explaining why a new contract cannot be agreed with Lionel Messi, with an all-time great preparing to break ties with the only club side that he has represented in his iconic career.
Laporta has said: “Leo wanted to stay at Barca. We wanted him to stay.
“I want to thank everyone that has been in the negotiations. There were lots of aspects that needed to be negotiated.
“He is the best player in the world and has other offers, of course.
“After all of this process, there comes a moment where you have to say ‘enough. You have to analyse it and look at the numbers.
“In La Liga, we have to abide by the rules. We think they could be more flexible, but that is not an excuse. We couldn’t abide by it.
“Leo deserves everything. He has proven that he loves Barca. He has his roots in Barcelona. I’m sad but I’m convinced we have done the best for the interests of Barcelona.”
Barcelona is set to be without their all-time top scorer for the first time in 17 years.