Lionel Messi a no-show for Barcelona COVID-19 testing

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It doesn’t appear there will be resolution in the Lionel Messi contract saga anytime soon.

Messi did not show up for Barcelona’s preseason coronavirus testing on Sunday, according to multiple reports, digging in his heels after he informed the club on Tuesday he wanted to leave and was exercising a clause in his contract that allowed him to do so for free.

The 33-year-old soccer superstar wants to go to Manchester City — whose offer could include a potential move to New York City FC in three years — but Barcelona insist the opt-out clause expired in June. Messi’s camp believes he’s still able to exercise the opt-out because of the coronavirus-related extension of the season.

The Spanish La Liga is taking Barcelona’s side in the dispute, saying in a statement Sunday that Messi’s contract is still valid and another team would have to pay a 700 million euro release clause — roughly $833 million — to get Messi, whose contract expires at the end of next season.

ESPN reports Manchester City, led by Messi’s former coach Pep Guardiola, is willing to pay up to 150 million euros to secure Messi’s services.

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