Messi still in Barca WhatsApp group: Frenkie de Jong

Argetine striker Lionel Messi

Barcelona [Spain], September 2 (ANI): Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong has revealed that striker Lionel Messi is still in the club's WhatsApp group chat despite recently asking to leave Camp Nou.
Messi has already expressed his desire to leave Barcelona and English club Manchester City is viewed as one of the top prospects for Messi.
"I hope that Messi is still there when I get back, but that is not something that is up to me. He's still in the group chat," Fox Sports quoted de Jong as saying.
"I'm not anyone to talk about it with him, I'm sure he has many people around him doing that these days," the midfielder added.
Earlier, the organisers of La Liga had sided with Barcelona as they said that Messi's contract with the club is still valid. The organisers also clarified that if other clubs are interested in availing the footballer's services, then they must pay 700 million euros as the release clause amount in full.
This clarification from La Liga came as Messi sought to make his way out from Barcelona.
"The contract is currently in force and has a "termination clause" applicable to the event that Lionel Messi decides to urge the early unilateral termination of the contract, carried out in accordance with article 16 of Royal Decree 1006/1985, of June 26, by which regulates the special employment relationship of professional athletes," La Liga said in an official statement.
"In compliance with the applicable regulations, and following the corresponding procedure in these cases, La Liga will not carry out the prior visa process for the player to be removed from the federation if they have not previously paid the amount of said clause," it added.
On Sunday, Messi did not show up for Barcelona's pre-season medical tests as he continued to find his way out of the club.
On August 25, Messi had shocked Barcelona by asking the club to let him leave. Messi had asked Barcelona to activate a clause in his contract which will allow him to leave for free.
His contract with Barcelona is currently up to 2021. Manchester City, Inter Milan, and Paris Saint-Germain are the few clubs that have shown an interest in Messi.
Messi has spent his entire career with Barcelona and has managed to win Ballon d'Or six times.
Barcelona was handed an 8-2 drubbing by Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-final, and since then, the club has been facing a crisis.
Head coach Quique Setien and technical manager Eric Abidal have already departed and Ronald Koeman was appointed the new coach of Barcelona. (ANI)

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