Messi will have his motives and reasons - Figo expects Barca superstar to leave Camp Nou next year

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Lionel Messi will have his motives and reasons for wanting to leave Barcelona and nothing will make him change his mind, according to the club's former player Luis Figo.

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner stunned the world in August when he informed Barca of his intention to leave the club he has spent two decades with.

He intended to trigger a clause in his contract to walk away on a free transfer, but the validity of such a stipulation was made murky due to last season being prolonged into August by the coronavirus pandemic.

But Figo, who made a surprising and controversial move from Barca to bitter rivals Real Madrid in 2000, believes Messi will now have his mind set on departing Catalonia.

"I watched the thing with Messi and his attempt to leave Barcelona this summer like all football fans: expectantly and surprised," he told Marca.

"He'll have his motives and reasons for making that decision. I don't know what happened beforehand. 

"Every club wants a player like Messi, but then it depends on factors like the current financial situation at the club, the money he'll cost the club in wages, the will of the player...

"But generally, in life, if you don't want to be somewhere, in the end there's nothing that can change your mind."

Messi, who is due to become a free agent at the end of the campaign, has endured an underwhelming start to the 2020-21 season.

The 33-year-old had failed to assist a goal or score from open play in six LaLiga matches before last weekend's 5-2 win over Real Betis, when he also netted from the penalty spot.

He started that game on the bench - the first time that has happened in the league since September 2019 - but Ronald Koeman has since revealed Messi was carrying a knock.

Messi is now on international duty with Argentina and played the full 90 minutes of Thursday's 1-1 World Cup qualifying draw with Paraguay, the forward having a goal ruled out by VAR in that game.

Source Omnisport