Inside Lionel Messi’s dad’s transfer showdown talks with Barcelona president
The Lionel Messi saga rumbles on following Wednesday’s showdown meeting which, ultimately, failed to reach a conclusion to the biggest transfer story this summer.
The Argentine superstar’s dad Jorge held talks with Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu in a bid to seal his shock departure, with Manchester City leading the race to sign him.
Messi’s camp have claimed the six-time Ballon d’Or winner can leave the Nou Camp for free this summer, while Barca have insisted that is not the case – and have been backed in their stance by La Liga.
Indeed, the crunch meeting reportedly ended in a stalemate on Wednesday, with no agreement reached over the wantaway forward’s future.
And now Mundo Deportivo have revealed details about the meeting, which is understood to have been ‘in an atmosphere of good harmony and without tension’.
Bartomeu was joined by Barcelona director Javier Bordas while also in the Messi camp was the footballer’s brother Rodrigo as well as the lawyer of the firm Cuatrecasas Jorge Pecourt.
While talks remained calm, Barca are seemingly refusing to budge from their stance and will not consider selling Messi unless potential suitors stump up his £630million (€700m) release clause.
Indeed, the club expect him to remain at the Nou Camp until after the 2022 World Cup, but Messi’s father repeatedly made clear his desire to leave the club this summer.
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The Spanish publication also claimed Messi’s father said: “But if Leo doesn’t want to stay even this year, how will he want to renew”.
The Messi camp also reiterated the feeling that the Argentine wants to quite Barca to join a winning project.
But Barca chief Bartomeu is understood to have questioned Manchester City’s standing as a European powerhouse, with Pep Guardiola’s side yet to win the Champions League.
With Wednesday’s meeting yet to reach an agreement, Messi faced a huge a question over whether he wants to force through a move to City and ultimately face a legal battle with Barca.
Messi informed the club last month that he wished to leave in the wake of their 8-2 Champions League thrashing at the hands of Bayern Munich, claiming a clause in his contract would allow him to walk away for free.
It is believed the clause the six-time Ballon d’Or winner is attempting to activate expired earlier in the year but that he feels – because the season was extended following the coronavirus pandemic – the expiration date should also be adjusted accordingly.
Barcelona disagree and were backed by LaLiga on Sunday, hours after Messi failed to show up for his scheduled Covid-19 test which would have allowed him to start pre-season training with new head coach Ronald Koeman the following day.