Chelsea fans have been appealing for the club to make a move for Argentine superstar Lionel Messi after his latest contract update.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner is currently officially out of contract having seen his Barcelona deal expire at the back end of last season.
It was previously reported that progress was close to being made on Messi remaining at the Camp Nou, however that now appears not to be the case.
Barcelona announced his official departure with a short statement on Thursday evening.
It read: “Despite having reached an agreement between FC Barcelona and Leo Messi and with the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today, it cannot be formalized due to economic and structural obstacles (Spanish LaLiga regulations) .
“Given this situation, Lionel Messi will not continue linked to FC Barcelona. Both parties deeply regret that the wishes of both the player and the Club cannot finally be fulfilled.
“Barça would like to thank with all its heart the player’s contribution to the enhancement of the institution and wishes him the best in his personal and professional life.”
It remains to be seen whether the reigning European champions are still interested in making a move for Messi, or even if they can afford his astronomical wages.
However, that has not stopped Chelsea fans from appealing to the likes of Marina Granovskaia and Roman Abramovich to try for Messi’s signature this summer.
They took to social media on Thursday following the news to express their thoughts:
Whilst it is difficult to judge whether the Blues will indeed make an effort to tempt Messi to Stamford Bridge, the Blues do appear close to bolstering their attack regardless.
Chelsea have been strongly linked with a move for former striker Romelu Lukaku throughout the past few months as an alternative to Erling Haaland.
Reports from The Independent have suggested that there remains just £10m between Chelsea and Inter Milan’s valuations of the Belgian forward.