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Photo: Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Barcelona on Thursday announced that Lionel Messi is leaving the club.

State of play: Barcelona said that while the club and Messi had reached an agreement for a new contract, there were "financial and structural obstacles" that prevented Messi from staying.

What they're saying: "FC Barcelona wholeheartedly expresses its gratitude to the player for his contribution to the aggrandizement of the club and wishes him all the very best for the future in his personal and professional life," Barcelona said in a statement.

  • “Both parties deeply regret that the wishes of the player and the club will ultimately not be fulfilled," it added.

Go deeper

Oct 8, 2021 - Sports

Newcastle United sold to Saudi wealth fund

Expand chart
Data: talkSPORT; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

If money talks, Newcastle United will soon be the loudest club in Europe.

Driving the news: The 129-year-old English club has been acquired by a consortium led by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) for $409 million, or roughly 0.09% of the fund's total value.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Axios AM Deep Dive: America’s murder surge

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

Homicides rose at the fastest rate in at least six decades last year. This Axios AM Deep Dive, led by Future correspondent Bryan Walsh, looks at the state of gun crime.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Democrats target billionaires

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

After failing to get a deal on other planned tax increases, key Senate Democrats are pivoting to a billionaires' income tax to pay for President Biden's social spending.

The big picture: No advanced economy has attempted anything similar on such a scale.