Barcelona star Lionel Messi will stay at the Nou Camp for at least one more season, the Argentinian has confirmed.

Messi had appeared desperate to leave the La Liga giants following Champions League embarrassment at the hands of Bayern Munich.

A deal that would see him head to Manchester City had been touted, though there were plenty of issues with a fee and his contract.

Messi believed he could leave for free due to a clause in his deal, though La Liga determined that wasn’t the case and it would take €700m for him to exit.

And now it seems there has been a change of heart with Messi confirming he will remain at the Nou Camp.

Lionel Messi will stay at Barcelona
Lionel Messi will stay at Barcelona

He told Goal: “I told the club, including the president, that I wanted to go. I've been telling him that all year. I believed it was time to step aside.

“I believed that the club needed more young players, new players and I thought my time in Barcelona was over. I felt very sorry because I always said that I wanted to finish my career here.

“It was a very difficult year, I suffered a lot in training, in games and in the dressing room. Everything became very difficult for me and there came a time when I considered looking for new ambitions.

Lionel Messi did not report for coronavirus testing on Sunday morning
Messi disagreed with Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu
Messi disagreed with Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu

“It did not come because of the Champions League result against Bayern, no – I had been thinking about the decision for a long time.

“I told the president and, well, the president always said that at the end of the season I could decide if I wanted to go or if I wanted to stay and in the end he did not keep his word.”

Messi had told Barcelona of his decision to leave, though insists it was not done with the intention of creating a dispute.

Lionel Messi wanted to leave all season
Lionel Messi wanted to leave all season

He added: “Throughout the year I had been telling the president that I wanted to leave, that the time had come to seek new goals and new directions in my career.

“He told me all the time: ‘We'll talk, not now, this and that’, but nothing. The president did not give me a clue at what he was really saying.

“Sending the burofax was making it official that I wanted to go and that I was free and the optional year – I was not going to use it and I wanted to go.

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“It was not to make a mess, or to go against the club, but the way to make it official because my decision had been made.

“If I don't send the burofax, it's like nothing happens, I have the optional year I had to have continued all year.

“What they say is that I did not say it before June 10 – but I repeat, we were in the middle of all the competitions and it was not the moment.

"But apart from that, the president always told me 'when the season is over, you decide if you stay or leave', he never set a date, and well, it was simply to make it official that I wouldn't continue, but not to start a fight because I didn't want to fight against the club."