Lionel Messi’s father Jorge Messi has confessed it is ‘difficult’ to see his son staying with Barcelona this summer as he prepares for showdown talks with club president Josep Bartomeu to fix legal mess worth millions.
Messi’s father arrived in the City, as he looks to gain clarity on the future of his son as he continues to boycott pre-season training to force through his desired departure.
He is preparing to negotiate his son’s exit from the club this summer with the first face-to-face talks with Bartomeu since Messi sent a burofax to the club, informing them he wants to leave this summer.
Before Barcelona president Bartomeu meets with Jorge Messi, he will need to find unity in the boardroom. There are directors who think the club’s financial situation makes trying to get the highest price for Messi, as well as getting his €100m salary off the wage bill, the only logical way forward.
Others think the club should dig in their heels until the bitter end even if that requires a legal battle over the contracts small-print.
Bartomeu has mentioned that when the meeting does go ahead it will be only to encourage the Messi camp to sign a contract extension for two more years.
As things stand right now, Messi will insist he has already rescinded his contract by burofax, and make it clear he would rather contest Barcelona’s refusal to let him leave in court.
Jorge Messi goes into the meeting with a total reverse of the proposal to Barcelona’s. He will insist the club allow Messi to leave in the same manner they allowed other club legends Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta and Carles Puyol to depart.
Bartomeu believes Messi departing for a direct Champions League rival makes this situation immeasurably different from the others. It’s clear interest from Pep Guardiola to take Messi to the Premier League makes the threat of Messi leaving all the more real for Barcelona.
Unfortunately for Bartomeu, Jorge Messi will be able to point to a television interview Bartomeu gave in 2019 when he said: ‘Messi has a contract that we signed two years ago for four years.
‘In the last year of the contract, before the 2020-21 season starts, he can leave the club. He can quit football or go to another team.’
Some Barcelona supporters cling to the hope of an emotional U-turn based on the fact that Messi has had a passionate, change of heart before. However, this time Messi has indicated that it has gone beyond that and he is determined to take this through the courts even if it means he sacrifices at least the first half of this season if absolutely necessary.