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​Subirats exclusive: Messi made right decision over court battle - but he's leaving Barcelona​

Former Valencia sporting director Javier Subirats is certain Lionel Messi will leave Barcelona this summer.

The Argentine handed in an official transfer request to leave the club this past summer.

But president Josep Maria Bartomeu argued that Messi had missed the deadline to activate a clause in his contract which would have allowed him to leave for free.

Messi, 33, vehemently argued that Bartomeu promised he could leave for nothing at the end of the season, which was extended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

With clubs unable to meet Barca's transfer demands, Messi decided against taking the club to court and vowed to stay put until his contract expires next summer.

Some optimists believe Barca could still persuade Messi to sign an extension, especially with Bartomeu set to be replaced as president.

And Subirats, the man behind Valencia's success in the early 2000s, believes Messi has already made his mind up on leaving the Camp Nou.

"No, I don't think that Messi is going to sign a new contract with Barcelona," the Los Che legend told Tribalfootball.com. "He wanted to go this summer. I believe that Messi deciding not to take them to court was a good decision on his part.

"So, he is going stay at Barcelona this coming season but I believe he will go at the end of this season. Why? Because, at the end of the day, his idea was already to leave Barcelona this year. A lot of things would have to change for him to sign another contract with Barcelona.

"We'll have to see at the end of the season if the same clubs who desire to sign him now are still interested at the end of the season and we will have to see if Messi signs for a team abroad too. In my opinion, I believe that this is the last season for Messi at Barcelona… as far as I can see."

Things have not started well on the pitch for the Blaugrana this season under new manager Ronald Koeman.

The Catalan giants were beaten by Real Madrid in the season's first El Clasico, leaving them in 12th place after five matches played.

Manchester City, Inter Milan and PSGhave all been linked with Messi.

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Will McCarthy

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