Barcelona’s all-time top scorer Lionel Messi has returned to training following his failed attempt to force a move away from the club.
Messi, 33, submitted a transfer request on August 25, 2020, but said last Friday that he would stay because it is “impossible” for any team to pay his release clause.
It is the first time the Argentine has trained with his team-mates since the arrival of new manager Ronald Koeman.
Barcelona begin their La Liga campaign against Villarreal on September 27.
Messi failed to attend the club’s testing for COVID-19 on August 30 and has been absent from training since sending a fax informing the club of his wish to exercise a clause in his contract which he believed would allow him to leave for free with immediate effect.
Both Barcelona and La Liga insisted that clause was no longer valid – with any club wishing to buy him required to pay a release clause of €700m.
La Liga president Javier Tebas said at the launch of the 2020/21 La Liga season on Monday he was “never seriously worried” Messi would leave Barcelona this summer.
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