Lionel Messi's father claims quotes attributed to his son in the Argentinian media about a potential move from Barcelona to Manchester City are false.
Messi rocked Barca on Tuesday when he informed them of his desire to leave the club that he signed for as a 13-year-old.
The 33-year-old Barca captain is said to have a clause in his deal that allows him to leave on a free transfer at the end of the 2019-20 campaign.
It was required to be activated before the end of May but, due to the season being extended into August amid the coronavirus pandemic, the six-time Ballon d'Or winner has told the Catalan giants he still intends to make use of it.
City appear to have emerged as the front-runners due to the presence of former Barcelona head coach Pep Guardiola, as well as their riches, with media reports in Argentina seemingly increasingly confident Messi will move to the Premier League.
Those stories intensified on Wednesday when Argentinian publication La Nacion published quotes it said were from Messi confirming the joint-decision with his wife to leave Barca, while also opting for City next.
However, the Barca talisman's father – who is also his agent – is adamant the quotes were fake and the work of a Messi imitator.
Alongside a screenshot of the story, Jorge Messi wrote on his Instagram story: "Hi La Nacion, this is fake. This confession does not exist, it's the audio of an imitator."
La Nacion hit back by claiming to have "never cited the existence of audio, but obtained the information from a source that is related to the player".