Lionel’s father and agent Jorge Messi set to meet Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu to resolve impasse over contract
Last Updated: 02/09/20 10:01pm
Sergio Ramos believes Lionel Messi has earned the right to decide his future, but is keen for the Barcelona forward to stay in Spain.
Messi has caused a major storm by handing in a transfer request at Barcelona and has since failed to report for training, with the Argentine no longer considering himself a part of Ronald Koeman’s squad.
Messi’s father and agent has arrived in Spain for crunch talks with the Barcelona hierarchy to resolve the impasse between player and club over the forward’s contract situation.
On Wednesday morning, Jorge Messi conceded it is “difficult” his son will stay at Barcelona when asked by Spanish television programme El Chiringuito as he arrived at the Fundacion Leo Messi for talks.
However, he said that “there is nothing yet” in terms of a possible move to Manchester City and that he had not spoken to Pep Guardiola.
Ramos, who has faced Messi in El Clasico for the past 15 years, questioned Messi’s approach to dealing with the contract situation.
The Real Madrid captain is no stranger to handing in a transfer request, having asked to leave on a free transfer to a side in China last summer, which club president Florentino Perez refused.
Speaking during a news conference with the Spain national team, Ramos said: “He’s earned the right to decide his future, but I don’t know if it’s the best way.
“For Spanish football, for Barcelona and for us, we’d like him to stay. Leo makes the Spanish league, his team and the Clasicos better.
“You always like beating the best and he’s one of the best in the world.”
Insight: Barca boardroom torn ahead of talks
Sky Sports News’ Gary Cotterill in Barcelona:
These talks between Barcelona and Lionel Messi will take place on Wednesday and Thursday. Lionel Messi’s father, Jorge, has now arrived in the country and will be leading these talks as far as the Messi camp is concerned.
The Barcelona side cannot even agree with each other. There is the president’s side, who on one hand say Messi has this valid contract and is not going anywhere for less than the asking price – we are not going to do any deals.
The other side of the boardroom feel like that is unrealistic – we are in a financial hole, he could leave anyway in a year’s time and meanwhile hang around not wanting to be here.
There’s going to have to be a lot of talking and I think that’s going to take longer than two days.
Lionel Messi has stunned the football world by demanding to leave Barcelona. But his contract situation is complicated and this is just the beginning of what could be a lengthy, acrimonious and ultimately historic departure.
Ahead of the key meeting between Messi’s father and the Barcelona board, we assess the situation.
To understand how it stands, and how it could develop, you have to view it from all sides…
All the latest news, analysis and rumours from the window in one place.
The summer transfer window will run for 10 weeks from July 27 and close at 11pm on October 5.
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