Lionel Messi said on Friday that he will remain at Barcelona for the upcoming season after the Spanish club refused to sell the Argentine for a fee less than 700 million euros, reported

Messi insisted he could never go to court against “the club of his life”.

In the interview, the 33-year-old is quoted as saying: “I would never go to court against Barca because it is the club that I love, that gave me everything since I arrived, it is the club of my life, I have made my life here.”

The club legend also had strong words against the management.

“I wasn’t happy and I wanted to leave. I have not been allowed this in any way and I will stay at the club so as not to get into a legal dispute,” Messi was quoted as saying in a statement announcing his decision to stay on the website.

Also read – Can’t go to war against club of my life: Lionel Messi explains his decision to stay at Barcelona

Messi’s father, Jorge Messi had arrived in Barcelona on Wednesday, landing at the private terminal in El Prat airport on a flight from the Argentine city of Rosario to initiate talks with Barcelona board and president Josep Bartomeu.

But with Barcelona adamant about not selling Messi for a negotiated, Messi has decided to stay in Catalunya.

Six-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi tried to force a move out of the club and boycotted Barcelona’s first pre-season training session on Monday, as he tried to force his way out of the club he joined as a 13-year-old.

Messi also failed to attend a coronavirus test at Barcelona’s training ground on Sunday.

Messi’s father was followed throughout the city by reporters and TV crews on Wednesday, and had told reporters it would be “difficult” for his son to stay at Barcelona.

According to local reports, club directors met with Messi and his advisors for more than two hours on Wednesday, but neither party was willing to alter their stance.

Barcelona insisted their captain remains under contract until June 2021 and will only depart if his 700-million-euro ($833 million) release clause is activated, a stance that has been backed up by La Liga, who say that release clause still applies.

But Messi and his lawyers argued he is allowed to go for free this summer according to another clause in his contract, which they claim was triggered on August 25 when a burofax stating Messi’s intention to leave arrived at Camp Nou.

Abu Dhabi-owned Manchester City had expressed an interest in signing him.

(With AFP inputs)