Barcelona star Lionel Messi is now expected to remain at the club based on happenings and reports on Thursday. The player’s father and agent, Jorge, spoke with the club chief Josep Maria Bartomeu on Wednesday regarding the future of Messi. Some reports add that Messi then spoke with Bartomeu before reaching a compromise to remain at the club until nest summer where the club will likely release the player for free.
The saga could come to an end after stalled talks and showdowns by both sides, with La Liga having to intervene by releasing an official statement. The player submitted transfer request to leave the only club he has known after over 20 years. He said he would not take the planned Corona virus test ahead of preseason plans and did not return to training.
The media was awash with Messi news, with talks that he had agreed a multi-year deal with City which included playing in the MLS. After weeks of speculation, the Argentine would stay for another year and help the club plan for a transition while the then 34-year old can go on to cash-in on opportunities thereafter.
The six-time Ballon d’Or seemed like a one-club player after achieving a lot with the club and remaining for decades. The sustained changes to the Barca project likely forced his hands. With Barca successfully arguing that any club that wants his signature must pay the 700 million euros release clause, it became a dead end. They have paid him very well for years and agreed to his demands so letting him walk for free, unprepared too, was not going to be easy. The league lost Ronaldo to the Serie A, losing Messi would have had huge financial impact for the La Liga, especially in a season where fans would not be at the stadium as it starts and with depleted TV and side revenue.
Even at that, Ronald Koeman has a huge job managing a disgruntled player as he rejigs the team. Then when Messi leaves, Barca has to play and win titles without him after almost 15 years in the first team. Hopefully, they don’t pull an ‘Arsenal without Arsene Wenger’ or ‘Manchester United without Sir Alex Ferguson.’