Argentine and Barcelona Captain Lionel Messi, is reportedly planning to leave the club when his contract expires in 2021, according to Manu Carreno of Cadena Ser (via Santi Gimenez of AS).

The Argentine captain has apparently halted all talks with the club about renewing his contract, after discussions appeared to initially be going well between his father and Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

According to ESPN Messi is angry about leaked media reports that appeared to make him seem responsible for events at the club, such as the January sacking of coach Ernesto Valverde, and that he is frustrated about the squad’s lack of quality.

Messi, who turned 33 recently , scored his 700th career goal on Tuesday against Atletico Madrid, but the milestone strike ended in disappointment as Barca drew the game 2-2 in the latest blow to their bid to retain the Spanish Laliga title.

Barca trail Real Madrid by four points in the title race with five games remaining after the league leaders beat Getafe 1-0 on Thursday.

Messi has become more vocal in his criticism of the club of recent, Previously known for his shy personality off the pitch.

Lionel messi hit out at sporting director Eric Abidal in January , who he said had implied players had led to Valverde being sacked.

When things don’t go well on the pitch, the players are the first ones to recognise as much,” he wrote. “Those in the sporting department at the club should also take responsibility for their actions and decisions.” Messi wrote on Instagram.

Barcelona presidential elections are set to be held in mid-June next year with Messi’s contract expiring in just under a year’s time on June 30, and it is believed that two-week window will be pivotal in deciding Messi’s future.

Due to the coronavirus outbreak revealed Messi accused the club hierarchy of hanging the players out to dry over pay cuts.

They eventually agreed to take a 70% pay cut in March when football across Europe ceased due to the Covid-19 epidemic, but Messi issued a statement declaring the first XI should bear the brunt of any financial distress, but also accused the club bosses of an attempt to put them under pressure

Lionel Messi as been linked to join his boyhood club Newell’s Old Boys in Argentina when his contact expires

This would be a huge blow for Barça if he eventually leaves at the end of his present contract at the club, he is arguably their best player for the past ten years.