Barcelona captain and all-time leading goalscorer Lionel Messi has said he will stay – 10 days after telling the club he wanted to leave.
Messi, 33, sent a fax to Barca last Tuesday saying he wanted to exercise a clause in his contract which he said allowed him to leave for free.
But the club and La Liga have said he can only leave now if his 700m euro (£624m) release clause is met.
“I thought and was sure that I was free to leave,” Messi told Goal.
“The president always said that at the end of the season I could decide if I stayed or not.
“Now they cling to the fact that I did not say it before 10 June, when it turns out that on 10 June we were competing for La Liga in the middle of this awful coronavirus and this disease altered all the season.
“And this is the reason why I am going to continue in the club. Now I am going to continue in the club because the president told me that the only way to leave was to pay the 700m clause, and that this is impossible.”