Lionel Messi’s father and representative, Jorge Messi, is set for showdown talks with Barcelona on Wednesday over his son’s future at the club.
The Argentine has told the Catalan giants he wants to use a clause in his contract and leave for free this season. Barcelona argue the clause has expired and do not want to sell the 33-year-old.
Jorge Messi has left Rosario and travelled to Barcelona to meet with president Josep Maria Bartomeu on Wednesday for a face-to-face chat, according to Sergi Sole at Mundo Deportivo.
Bartomeu is expected to reiterate the club’s stance that Messi is not for sale and will also offer a two-year contract extension. However, Jorge Messi will communicate that his son remains determined to leave and wants to find an amicable exit.
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Messi Sitting Out Training
Barcelona returned to pre-season training on Monday without Messi. The Argentina international did not show up for PCR testing on Sunday, meaning he can’t return to action.
The club have not spoken out publicly yet about Messi’s absence but could choose to sanction the 33-year-old. According to Marca, the captain could be hit with a hefty fine for his no-show.
Ronald Koeman’s side are currently preparing for the 2020-21 La Liga season. Their first fixture of the new campaign will take place on September 27 or 28 at the Camp Nou against Villarreal.
Barcelona Presidential Candidate Talks Messi
Barcelona president candidate Victor Font has offered his thoughts on the current saga engulfing the club and told Sky Sports he does not expect Messi to change his mind about his decision to leave the club.
“That’s the hope, right? Until it’s over there is always hope. And therefore I really hope the decision can be changed.
“It doesn’t seem likely, though, and therefore if that’s the case, the focus should be on making the transition as smooth as possible.
“And the ties between Messi and Barcelona that go very deep, remain there, so we can ensure somehow, the relationship continues in the future.”
Wednesday’s talks between Jorge Messi and Barcelona could therefore prove crucial in unlocking what happens next. Both parties appear poles apart currently and unwilling to back down but something will have to give to end the current stalemate.