Lionel Messi’s father Jorge has now completed his long-awaited meeting with Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu, but the two sides remain at an impasse.
The latest, and perhaps most concrete, part of the Lionel Messi transfer saga took place today as his father Jorge met with Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu in an attempt to negotiate his son’s exit from the Catalan club.
Despite standing firm on Lionel’s intention to leave the club and that he no longer considers himself a Barcelona player, the club seem adamant that they would rather hold their best-ever player hostage rather than negotiate a deal with City. The two sides left with no agreement, and with the start of the Premier League just 10 days away, the clock is ticking.
Messi’s father was reached for a quick interview en route to the meeting, where he described the situation as “difficult” and that there was no agreement with Manchester City. Messi seems determined to make his move to City, but in this scenario, Barcelona appear to hold all the leverage, as they can force him to waste one of his incredibly valuable final years in his peak.
It would be an extremely low-class move from the club to hold Messi against his will and force him to either crawl back to a team in shambles or refuse to play for an entire season. Nevertheless, Barcelona under Bartomeu’s stewardship have made it clear in the past that taking the high road is not their priority.
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With the season approaching rapidly and so much uncertainty surrounding what would have to happen to get Messi to Manchester, coupled with Barcelona’s hardline stance, the likelihood of this deal happening is dwindling by the day. He will not be a Barcelona player in a year’s time regardless, but Barcelona seem disinterested in a transfer fee and new players that could spark a much-needed rebuild. They appear to be acting emotionally rather than empirically, which will be to the detriment of both City and the player.
In my view, this all stems to Bartomeu. His legendarily poor time as president would be capped off by Messi walking out, and it seems he would rather pass the problem on to the next president following elections in March and get off on a technicality in that he was not the president who “officially” lost Messi. A deal is in the best interest of all parties involved, but it is Barcelona and their irrational president, not Messi nor City, who hold the cards.