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No agreement between Lionel Messi, Barcelona: Reports

Reuters/AFP/Barcelona, Spain
Filed on September 3, 2020 | Last updated on September 3, 2020 at 01.16 am
lionel messi, father, agent, jorge, barcelona
Jorge Messi, father and agent of Lionel Messi arrives at his apartment in Barcelona on September 02, 2020.

(AFP)

Earlier, Messi's father and agent Jorge said it would be 'difficult' for his son to remain with Barcelona.

Lionel Messi's father and agent met Barcelona club president Josep Maria Bartomeu on Wednesday to discuss the player's wish to leave the club but the talks ended in stalemate, Spanish media reported.

Earlier, Jorge Messi said it would be "difficult" for his son to remain with Barcelona, the only club he has ever played for professionally.

The meeting lasted one-and-a-half hours and was held in a cordial atmosphere, according to media reports including sports dailies Marca and Mundo Deportivo. They said Bartomeu sees Messi as a key part of Barca's plans to rebuild under new coach Ronald Koeman. There was no comment from the club.

Six-times world player of the year Messi, unhappy at his team's failure to win any silverware last season and humiliated by an 8-2 Champions League thrashing by Bayern Munich, told the club last week that he wanted to leave.

The Argentine insists he has a clause in his contract that allows him to leave on a free transfer - a claim disputed by Barcelona and La Liga, who say he can only leave if a rival club is willing to pay a 700 million euro (Dh3.05 billion) buyout clause.

"I don't know, I know nothing," Messi's father told Spanish TV channel Cuatro after flying in on a private jet.

Pressed if it would be hard for him to remain, he said "yes", and asked how he sees Messi's future at Barcelona, he replied "difficult, difficult".

Messi missed a medical on Sunday and did not show up on Monday for the first training session of the season.

Meanwhile, Sergio Ramos said on Wednesday that Messi should be allowed to decide on his future as the Argentine superstar attempts to force his way out of Barcelona after two decades at the club.

"He has earned the right to decide his future. I don't know if he is doing it in the best way," Ramos said ahead of Spain's opening Uefa Nations League clash with Germany in Stuttgart. 

"For Spanish football, for Barca and for us who like to beat the best, we would like him to stay."

Ramos has been one of Messi's fiercest rivals as Barca have battled it out for domestic and European dominance with the Spain captain's club side Real Madrid.

The pair are roughly the same age and have both won a host of major honours as their teams shared the La Liga title almost uninterrupted over the last 16 seasons.

The 34-year-old centre-back said that the departure of one of the greatest ever players would be a big blow for Spanish football.

"Leo makes the Spanish League and his team better, he makes the Clasicos more beautiful because you like to win while being against the best and he is one of the best in the world. 

"He has earned the right to decide for himself." 

Abu Dhabi-owned Manchester City are the firm favourites to sign Messi, partly due to his previous success with City coach Pep Guardiola.


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