Lionel Messi could leave Barcelona- admits his father, but denies any contact with Pep
Jorge Messi has admitted that it would be difficult for his son Lionel Messi to remain at Camp Nou, opening the door to an exit from Barcelona.
The 33-year-old had shocked the footballing world when he submitted a request to Barcelona asking to leave the club for free and since then, several clubs have been identified as potential destinations for the Argentine international.
Manchester City have been identified as favorites for his signature, given his ties with Guardiola but despite strong reports suggesting that a deal has been agreed, Messi’s father has denied that contact has been made with the Premier League side.
Jorge, who doubles as Messi’s agent and legal representative, addressed his son’s future on Wednesday at the El Prat Airport in Barcelona, saying: ”A future at Barcelona? It is difficult. It would be difficult to stay.”
When asked about City’s interest, the 62-year-old said: ”I haven’t talked with Pep. There is nothing yet with City.”
Missed pre-season tests, fans protest, boardroom meetings; Lionel Messi looks determined to end Barcelona sojourn
When Bayern Munich embarrassed Barcelona in the Champions League, it was widely regarded as a watershed moment in the history of the club and less than two weeks later, Lionel Messi dropped the bombshell of his transfer request via Burofax.
Since then, a raft of activities has taken place, with fans descending on Camp Nou in the immediate aftermath of the news to demand the resignation of club president Josep Maria Bartomeu.
Boardroom meetings have been held and the board reportedly passed a vote of no confidence on the president, while elections have been pushed forward to March next year.
Given Messi’s standing as unarguably the greatest player in the history of Barcelona, it is not surprising that his decision to end his two-decade association with the club has had such far-reaching consequences.
This is not the first time that their talisman has been speculated to leave the club, having come close to departing in 2017 after his tax fraud case.
However, none of the previous instances have ever been as concrete as this. With each passing day, it looks increasingly likely that Lionel Messi has played his last game in a Barcelona jersey.
The Rosario native had earlier criticized the direction the club was headed in after they surrendered their LaLiga crown to bitter rivals Real Madrid and it did not come as much of a surprise when they got dumped out of the Champions League.
Adding further credence to the departure of Messi is the fact that he failed to turn up for the mandatory pre-season coronavirus testing, while he has also admitted that he would speak up on the transfer speculation at the appropriate time.
Teammate Frenkie de Jong has admitted that his skipper is still present in the club’s WhatsApp group, but the latest comments by Messi’s father could yet be the strongest indicator that he is on his way out of Barcelona.
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