Lionel Messi asked to leave Barcelona late in August | Pool/Getty Images
Lionel Messi is expected to remain at Barcelona for the 2020/21 season following discussions with his father and legal team.
In one of the biggest stories of the summer, the legendary Argentine sent a burofax to the Catalan giants expressing his desire to leave the club. Messi had previously said ‘a lot’ needed to change after Barça lost their La Liga title to Real Madrid, and their embarrassing Champions League exit was enough to make the 33-year-old feel ‘determined’ to leave.
Barcelona crashed out of the Champions League in embarrassing fashion | Pool/Getty Images
A meeting with new Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman is also said to have gone horrifically, with the former Everton boss apparently telling Messi his ‘privileges are over’. Messi and club president Josep Maria Bartomeu hardly see eye-to-eye either, and the former later missed training and coronavirus testing.
However, issues over a potential exit arose due to disagreements regarding a clause in his contract. Messi’s deal allows him to walk away for free at the end of each season, but only if the club is given ample warning and in a particular time frame.
La Liga backed Barcelona’s stance – which has always been totally opposed to any sale – stating the only way Messi would be able to leave Camp Nou would be another club paying his €700m release clause. Especially in the current climate, that’s a lot of money – even for a side like Manchester City, who have been touted as one of the frontrunners for Messi’s signature alongside Paris Saint-Germain.
Discussions with his father and agent Jorge, along with his legal representatives, took place on Thursday. Now, as reported by Marca, Messi is expected to remain in Catalonia. Their report states the attacker does not want to depart on bad terms, which would include going to court to essentially force a move away.
When Messi will return to train again with Barcelona is unclear. He has made no public statement as of yet, while his father has only uttered a few sentences when he’s been spotted out and about.
Yes, it’s all very confusing, but hopefully there’ll be a blanket statement from one side or another that can provide a bit more clarity on the situation. That would be really nice.
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