BARCELONA: Lionel Messi was not seen in training with Barcelona today despite deciding to stay at the club, AFP reported at the club’s training center.
The Argentine international announced early this morning that he was forced to stay in Barcelona, claiming that club president Josep Maria Bartomeu had not kept his promise to release him.
It came 10 days after tensions erupted when he said he wanted to leave Barcelona.
However, when other players including Jordi Alba and Philippe Coutinho arrived for the session, Messi was not present at the Joan Gamper training complex which started at 7.30am local time.
Last Sunday Messi did not undergo a mandatory COVID-19 test for Barcelona players.
According to local media, Messi must first pass the COVID-19 test and may return to the squad on Monday.
He can then play in the first rivalry of new coach, Ronald Koeman, in a friendly match against the third division team, Nastic on September 12.