It is difficult to imagine Lionel Messi playing for another club side apart from Barcelona. The Argentine is synonymous with the Camp Nou, becoming the club's top scorer and winning countless honours since his senior debut as a 16-year old in 2004.
Yet despite this, their his relationship with the club has not always been a harmonious one. He considered joining Inter Milan early in his career as he struggled to nail down a place in the team, while more recently the issues he had with the Spanish tax authorities made him strongly consider leaving the country.
It appears as though he may now be looking at his options once again.
For the first time in his career, Barcelona look like a club without direction. They have been on a steady decline since their Champions League victory in 2015, even if they have continued to dominate domestically.
Their transfer record has been absolutely appalling in recent seasons and that has contributed to an ageing and disjointed squad.
Messi is certainly coming towards the end of his tether with the decision makers in Catalonia. Reports from Spanish radio station Cadena Ser claim that he has abruptly ended discussions over a new contract, something that could spell trouble for the club.
In his current deal, he has an opt out clause that would allow him to leave Barcelona on a free transfer at the end of each season. While the date to exercise that option has passed for 2020, there are fears he could look at doing so in the summer of 2021.
According to Guillem Balague writing on the BBC website, there are a number of reasons for his dissatisfaction.
Not only is he understandably tired of the club's failings in the transfer market, but it seems he is sick of taking the blame for those deals. It had previously been claimed that Messi was the one who decided what players Barcelona would sign, something that has no truth to it.
Lionel Messi is fed up.
The Argentine could reportedly leave Barcelona this summer.@GuillemBalague analyses whether this could happen and why.
👉 https://t.co/KuX3Aft5Tl#bbcfootball pic.twitter.com/JVjL5eaxzX
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) July 4, 2020
Messi is also pissed off that some in the media claim he was the one who has got their recent managers sacked, and that he selected Quique Setién as their most recent appointment.
Of course, the club have also done little to dispel such rumours.
With the club looking likely to lose their La Liga crown to Real Madrid, their current form being unlikely to allow them to challenge in the Champions League, and with the club continuing to make questionable transfer deals (such as the Arthur/Pjanic swap), things look fairly grim for Barcelona at the minute.
Maybe Messi has just had enough. Then again, he has used his contract situation to leverage the club before. Is it any different this time around? The upcoming summer transfer window will likely have a major say in that.
Barcelona are pursuing a deal for Lautaro Martínez, but Inter Milan have been firm in negotiations thus far. They will likely need other reinforcements if they are to compete with Europe's strongest clubs next season.