Lionel Messi’s future at Barcelona takes an unthinkable twist

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 07: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona warms up prior to the Liga match between FC Barcelona and Real Sociedad at Camp Nou on March 07, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 07: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona warms up prior to the Liga match between FC Barcelona and Real Sociedad at Camp Nou on March 07, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images) /
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Lionel Messi’s future at Barcelona has been the point of widespread speculation of late.

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu had a long-awaited meeting with Lionel Messi’s father and representative, Jorge, on Wednesday. The talks between both parties supposedly lasted for two hours but came to no fruition. The player’s father was hellbent on parting company for free whereas Barca were adamant on a 700 million euros’ release clause.

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Ever since the news broke out in Argentina regarding the winger’s fax message requesting a departure nearly two weeks ago, there have been several possibilities identified with reference to the 33-year-old’s future. Manchester City, Inter Milan, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain have all been linked with him, but a stay at Barcelona hasn’t been talked of much.

Diario GOL now claims that reports out of the player’s native country are saying that there is a 90% chance of Messi staying at the Camp Nou. The justification is simple. The meeting between Barca and Jorge Messi yielded the basic statement from the club wherein they said that no negotiations will be held for the Argentine, who will have to respect his contract.

Messi potentially staying could be a big plus for the Catalans given that the likes of Arturo Vidal and Luis Suarez may follow Ivan Rakitic outside the exit door without a firm replacement. The forward has shown time and again that he can get things done alone in recent times, plus, one shouldn’t entirely rule out the prospect of a few signings soon.

Apart from the fact that it’ll be beneficial to Barca for having Messi, the player himself cannot leave for free without facing serious ramifications. If legal books find him guilty of disrespecting a contract, the consequences faced by Messi and his entourage could be severe and neither parties would be interested in battling things out at court.

Manchester City have also not made contact with Messi’s agents which is probably for the same reason- that they may be taken to fight a legal battle by Barcelona who are in a perfect bargaining position given that their number 10 has a contract until June 2021 and the option of leaving for free until June 10 has expired three months ago.

Next. Barcelona players start another rebellion against key man. dark

What do you think Barca must do to make Messi stay at the Camp Nou?