Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman says it’s ‘still hard to understand’ that Lionel Messi will find a new club this summer.

The 34-year-old is a free agent after Barca were prevented from tying him down to a new contract due to ‘financial and structural obstacles’.

A move to Paris Saint-Germain is looking increasingly likely following talks between Messi and Mauricio Pochettino.

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Messi will take part in a press conference at the Nou Camp tomorrow to discuss his exit from the club.

Before that, Koeman said on Twitter: “Still hard to understand that you will not play for FC Barcelona anymore.

“Thanks for everything you have done for our club Leo. I really enjoyed the full season we worked together.

“I am impressed with your work ethic and desire to win. It makes you the best player in the world. For now, I wish you and your family the best!”

Messi has scored an incredible 672 goals in 778 matches since making his debut back in October 2004.

He’s won an unprecedented six Ballon d’Ors, as well as ten La Liga titles and four Champions League winners medals.

Manchester City has been touted as one potential destination for the superstar.

However, manager Pep Guardiola ruled them out of the race on Friday.

He said: “Right now it is not in our thoughts [to sign Messi], absolutely not.”

When asked about the contract saga, Guardiola added: “Unfortunately, because as a supporter for my club, I would love him to finish but today the club’s sustainability is so important and what happened in the last year was really not good.

“That is why he arrives in this. I have incredible gratitude as a fan for the most extraordinary player I see in my life. Much more than the titles he helped to win Barcelona, how he helped me to be a better manager and to go to Munich and after to England.

“The incredible emotion and actions to be in front of the team and to watch him what he can do with the ball, with his mates in one football game, day by day, game by game, he would make something unique.

“Only I can say thank you so much to bring Barcelona to another level, to bring Barcelona to dominate the world during a decade with him and his mates. I of course wish him for the last years of his career the best and will not be forgotten, that’s for sure.

“Hopefully one day we can properly say the best farewell game ever. He deserves it for his contribution to this club for another level but if Laporta arrives in this situation it is unfortunately because someone before didn’t do well.”


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