Barcelona have been dealt a significant blow to their hopes of keeping Lionel Messi.
Messi has been a free agent since July 1 and had been expected to sign a new deal before the start of the La Liga season.
Reports last month suggested the Argentine was even prepared to take a 50 perfect pay cut to see out his career with the Catalan giants.
But new revelations in Marca claim the two parties have never been further apart during negotiations than they are at the current time.
They report that conversations were held on Thursday during a meal between Messi's representatives and Barcelona club chiefs.
It adds that while the meeting was ‘cordial', Messi's future now appears more uncertain than ever.
A club statement said: “Despite FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi having reached an agreement and the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today, this cannot happen because of financial and structural obstacles (Spanish Liga regulations).
“As a result of this situation, Messi shall not be staying on at FC Barcelona. Both parties deeply regret that the wishes of the player and the club will ultimately not be fulfilled.
“FC Barcelona wholeheartedly expresses its gratitude to the player for his contribution to the aggrandisement of the club and wishes him all the very best for the future in his personal and professional life.”
This article was most recently revised and updated 3 years ago