Barcelona, September 3
Lionel Messi’s future at Barcelona appeared no nearer to being resolved after the primary assembly between the participant’s father and membership officers ended with out an settlement, an individual with data of the state of affairs informed The Associated Press.
The particular person stated membership president Josep Bartomeu on Wednesday met for greater than 90 minutes with Jorge Messi to debate the Argentina star’s request to depart the membership, however that neither half made any concessions.
The official spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of the particular person was not authorised to talk publicly concerning the non-public assembly.
Lionel Messi final week informed Barcelona he wished to depart the membership and invoked a contract clause that allowed him to depart at no cost on the finish of the season.
But Barcelona claimed the clause expired in June and stated he should see out his contract till June 2021, until the buyout clause of 700 million euros (USD 837 million) is paid.
Also within the assembly have been Barcelona official Javier Bordas and Messi’s brother, Rodrigo.
A lawyer for the Messi household was additionally current. In what was described as a cordial assembly, all elements made their positions clear — Jorge Messi stated the participant wished to depart and Barcelona stated it will not settle for his switch request.
No different assembly was instantly scheduled, and the subsequent steps have been unclear.
Barcelona has stated it nonetheless hopes Lionel Messi may change his thoughts about leaving.
The participant’s representatives declare the clause permitting him to depart the membership ought to nonetheless be legitimate as a result of the season was pushed again by the coronavirus pandemic. Barcelona reiterated that they may maintain the participant to his contract.
Jorge Messi, who can also be Messi’s agent, was tight-lipped when he arrived in Spain from Argentina earlier Wednesday.
“I don’t know anything,” Jorge Messi stated briefly feedback after being questioned on the airport.
Spanish tv station Cuatro later reported that Jorge Messi stated it will be “difficult” for his son to stick with Barcelona. He didn’t elaborate.
Barcelona has been saying it is not going to facilitate Messi’s departure and can solely negotiate a contract extension. The membership has provided the Argentine a two-year extension that may preserve him with Barcelona by the 2022-23 season.
In addition to assembly with Messi’s father, Barcelona stated it additionally wished to satisfy personally with the participant to attempt to change his thoughts about leaving. The membership stated it had been doing every little thing to attempt to persuade Messi to complete his profession on the membership the place he began practically 20 years in the past.
Lionel Messi hasn’t met with membership officers since saying his determination to depart and hasn’t stated something publicly since Barcelona’s 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich within the Champions League quarterfinals on August 14. The defeat that capped a troublesome season for the membership – its first with no title since 2007-08.
The 33-year-old Messi had been outspoken in opposition to membership officers in the course of the season and he hasn’t proven up on the membership for the reason that squad returned to coaching on Monday. He additionally skipped the required coronavirus checks the staff underwent on Sunday.
Barcelona didn’t say if it will take any motion in opposition to the participant due to his absence.
Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos stated Messi’s determination is not “something that concerns us”, however he hoped the rival participant would stick with Barcelona.
“He has earned the right to decide about his future,” stated Ramos.
“I don’t know if he will be doing it in the best way, but of course, for Spanish soccer, for Barcelona and for us, who like to win while playing against the best, we would like him to stay. It makes the league and Barcelona better, and it makes the ‘clásicos’ more beautiful.”
Messi’s Barcelona teammate Frenkie de Jong stated he was at midnight like everybody else.
“It’s a kind of chaos now, many things are going on,” stated De Jong, who’s with the Netherlands nationwide staff.
“But I didn’t speak with Messi personally, nor with the club. I will see when I arrive after this week in Barcelona how things are going, and what is really happening. Honestly I don’t know what will happen.”
Barcelona is scheduled to start its season in opposition to Villarreal within the Spanish league on the finish of the month. AP