No exit talks between Barca and Messi - club source | Inquirer Sports
Close  

No exit talks between Barca and Messi – club source

/ 06:46 PM August 17, 2020
Lionel Messi Barcelona Bayern Champions League

Barcelona’s Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (R) reacts after Bayern Munich’s second goal during the UEFA Champions League quarter-final football match between Barcelona and Bayern Munich at the Luz stadium in Lisbon on August 14, 2020. (Photo by Manu Fernandez / POOL / AFP)

Barcelona insisted they had not heard from Lionel Messi that he wants to leave the club, as an emergency board meeting was being held at Camp Nou on Monday.

Barca officials, including under-fire president Josep Maria Bartomeu, were due to discuss wholesale changes following the team’s humiliating 8-2 Champions League quarterfinal defeat by Bayern Munich on Friday.

ADVERTISEMENT

A report from Esporte Interativo on Sunday even claimed Messi has made up his mind to leave this summer, although a Barcelona source told AFP shortly before the board meeting was due to start that there had still been no communication with the club to that effect.

Messi’s frustration will be among the issues to be discussed along with the future of coach Quique Setien, who is expected to be sacked.

FEATURED STORIES

Ronald Koeman had emerged as the favorite on Monday to replace Setien given concerns around the suitability of Mauricio Pochettino, who has previously said he would never coach Barcelona due to his links to rivals Espanyol.

Another option is Barca B coach Garcia Pimienta, who could oversee a greater emphasis on youth before a longer-term appointment is made after the presidential elections next year.

Former Barca midfielder Xavi Hernandez would be the preferred option of Messi and other senior players but Xavi has recently signed a new deal with Qatari club Al-Sadd and is against working under the current board.

Another possible outcome of Monday’s meeting is that the club’s presidential elections, due in June 2021, are brought forward, although it is more likely they would be advanced to earlier next year than the next few months.

Sporting director Eric Abidal will also have his future discussed and could be moved on.

Defender Gerard Pique called for sweeping changes after describing the heavy loss to Bayern, Barca’s worst ever in Europe, as their “rock bottom”.

But Bartomeu asked for patience. “We are hurting, but once we get to next week we will start making decisions,” he told television channel Movistar.

ADVERTISEMENT

“The credibility of a coach is diminished when this happens, clearly. That is obvious, but that does not bother me right now.

“I think what happens today needs to be analyzed with a bit more perspective,” he added.

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Champions League, Football, Josep Maria Bartomeu, Lionel Messi
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2021 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.