Lionel Messi will return to Barcelona training for the first time since waving the white flag in his bitter transfer saga with the club, with the Argentine reportedly linking up with Ronald Koeman on Monday.
On Friday, Messi announced that he would be staying in Catalonia for another season in a bid to avoid legal proceedings with the club over the eligibility of a clause in his contract that would allow him to walk away from the club for free.
Barcelona have disputed the clause, arguing that Messi missed the deadline of June 10 to trigger it, and as such any club interested in the 33-year-old must meet his €700m release clause.
Messi will thus remain at the club for the 2020-21 campaign.
According to Marca, the superstar will return to the club for pre-season training on Monday, once he passes his coronavirus testing.
He will train under Ronald Koeman for the first time since the former Everton boss took over from Quique Setien as Barca coach last month.
The pair met in August during a private meeting in the midst of Messi’s public spat with the club.
Despite Messi admitting defeat in his battle to leave the club this summer, the Barca captain had some strong comments for the club’s hierarchy, particularly president Josep Bartomeu.
‘I am going to continue at this club because the president has told me the only way I can leave is if I pay the €700million (£625m) and that is impossible,’ he told Goal.
‘We were sure I was a free agent. The president always said at the end of the season I could decide if I wanted to stay or not.
“And now they hold on to the fact that I did not say it before June 10. But in June we were still competing in La Liga in the middle of this f****** virus. That had changed all the dates.
‘The truth is that there has been no clear project here for a long time, they juggle and plug holes with no real plan.’
Manchester City had been strongly linked with Messi throughout the saga, but a reunion with old boss Pep Guardiola will have to wait for now.