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Barcelona’s President Will Discuss Lionel Messi’s Future With His Father - Report

The Barcelona football club president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, will meet with Lionel Messi’s father on 2 September, Mundo Deportive reported. According to the sports newspaper, Jorge Messi, the athlete’s de-facto manager, has been in contact with Bartomeu for several days. The newspaper notes that Barcelona officials were flabbergasted when Messi informed them of his desire to exercise a clause in his contract that will allow him to leave the club as a free agent.

Mundo Deportivo writes that the upcoming meeting is unlikely to produce a compromise, as the positions of Bartomeu and Jorge Messi are diametrically opposed: The Barcelona president does not want to hear a word about a Messi transfer and wants the athlete to honor or renew his contract (which expires in 2021). Messi’s father, however, wants Bartomeu to understand that his son is "fed up with [the club’s] failures in Champions League" and seeks to join a club that will give him more options.

Its not all about trophies

An embarrassing 8-2 defeat against Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals of the Champions League likely prompted Messi to want to quit, but sports pundits say it is not a lack of trophies (Messi has 33) that made the iconic player offer the legal equivalent of  "basta". Feuds with the Barcelona staff, feuds with Barcelona officials and the constant scrutiny of the Spanish press, which has accused Lionel Messi of running the club and telling coaches which players should be signed and which should be let go - these issues and Barcelona's lackluster performance this season are a few of the reasons why the six-time winner of Ballon d'Or wants to leave. 

What will happen next?

Messi’s contract has a clause which allows him to terminate at the end of the season. Barcelona claims the athlete filed the transfer request past the deadline mentioned in the contract – 10 June (when the European football season usually ends). Messi notes, however, that due to the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns, this year’s football season was extended and ran until August.

His contract also features a 700-million-euro buyout clause, meaning that if any club wishes to sign him they will have to shell out. It seems unlikely that even rich clubs like Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain would be ready to pay this amount of money .

One scenario predicted by sports pundits would see Barcelona drop the buyout clause, but still demand an obscene amount of cash. The second scenario would see the athlete stay at Camp Nou (after Messi reportedly missed coronavirus testing, this variant seems improbable). According to a third scenario, which no one wants to see, one of the greatest players in the history of the sport will miss the next season, if talks on his transfer fail and the athlete refuses to play for Barcelona.

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