REAL MADRID’S players were reportedly so shocked by Lionel Messi’s transfer request they instantly began Whatsapping each other.
A source close to the dressing-room allegedly told ESPN a frantic bout of messaging took place as they attempted to digest the shock news.
The LaLiga champions, who are bitter rivals to Barcelona, were said to be “incredulous” when reports first emerged on Tuesday.
Even on Wednesday they were still allegedly struggling to believe that the Argentine legend had informed the Nou Camp side he wanted to quit.
No member of the current Madrid squad has experienced an El Clasico without Messi, with the icon first playing against Los Blancos in October 2004.
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He has created numerous magical moments against Madrid and is the all-time Clasico top scorer with 26 goals.
As well as being surprised to see their man who has been a thorn in their side so many times, they were also shocked at the timing of his transfer request.
Barcelona is currently in the middle of a major shake-up after missing out on the domestic title and suffering Champions League humiliation at the hands of Bayern Munich.
Ronald Koeman has taken charge of the under-performing and ageing squad, and instantly informed Messi’s close friend Luis Suarez he had no future at the club.
Messi, , 33, is set to quit his childhood club after nearly 20 years following a major fall out with the hierarchy.
Messi faxed the board to inform them he wants to quit after growing furious with their treatment of him and, most recently, Suarez.
He held a personal talk with Koeman following the Dutchman's appointment as Quique Setien's replacement last week.
In their discussions, Messi revealed he sees his future outside the club while the new manager told him his "privileges" were over.
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Messi, whose deal runs out in 2021, believes a clause in his contract means he can leave for free this summer.However, Barcelona reckon that offer expired back in June.
The counter argument to that being the clause is thought to end ten days after the Champions League final and therefore has been pushed back to August due to the delayed season.
Legal teams are set to work out exactly what the contract situation is but Barcelona are insisting Messi can only leave if a team matches his £631million release clause.
No matter what happens over the coming days, there is no doubt that the topic will still be amongst the first things discussed when Madrid return for pre-season training next week.
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