At this point in time it would appear that only a miracle will keep Lionel Messi at the Camp Nou.
Any u-turn now would be as seismic as the initial decision to request a free transfer away from Barcelona.
The captain has clearly had enough of carrying his team-mates week in and week out, as well as all of the broken promises from Josep Maria Bartomeu and his calamitous board.
A supposed ‘come and get me’ plea to Pep Guardiola would appear to be Messi’s way of making a success of his final years at the top level.
Just the thought of him wearing another team’s shirt will pain the Barca faithful of course, though he has to be allowed to leave with his head high for all that he has done for the team.
The Catalans have won 34 titles of one description or another during the Messi era by way of example.
Then there’s the goals and assists… not to mention how much he will have made the club through advertising and marketing revenue.
As a move starts to look ever closer, there’ll surely be a media campaign to smear the Argentinian in some way, and have Barca’s fanbase turn against him, but that would be inherently wrong.
Bartomeu needs to accept the inevitable, agree a suitable price and then wish Messi well with a send off befitting Barcelona’s best-ever player.