Lionel Messi hands in Barcelona transfer request

Lionel Messi is reported to have sent a fax to the club on Tuesday saying he wishes to exercise a clause in his contract, allowing him to leave for free with immediate effect.

The shock request comes 10 days after Barcelona’s humiliating 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals, one of the worst defeats in the player’s career and in the club’s history.

Barcelona have confirmed the transfer request but have made no statement.