Barcelona want Lionel Messi to still be part of the club after he retires – even if he forces departure this summer, reveals Barcelona presidential candidate Victor Font: ‘We have a plan, the club would like to count on him’
Barcelona will welcome wantaway star Lionel Messi back to the Nou Camp in some capacity even if he forces a move away this summer, according to Barcelona presidential candidate Victor Font.
The Argentine star’s future is up in the air after he told the club, via fax, he wanted to the leave.
Messi’s father Jorge arrived in Barcelona on Wednesday to gain clarity on the future of his son, having showdown talks with club president Josep Bartomeu.
Barcelona will welcome wantaway star Lionel Messi back to the Nou Camp in some capacity
Font, a presidential candidate to replace Bartomeu at the elections in March, has given his take on Messi’s future, stating that the LaLiga side are still holding out hope.
‘I’m truly hoping reason prevails and as soon as the club and Messi’s father sit down and talk, that the interest of both Messi and Barca will be taken into account and properly protected,’ he told talkSPORT.
‘Hope is the last thing you lose, so that’s why until he’s gone we will continue hoping that the situation can change.
‘But beyond that, what I believe is very important is that a reasonable agreement is reached, so that we protect the interests of the club going forward.’
Font revealed that the Catalan giants want Messi to still be part of the club after he retires, even if he leaves this summer.
‘Even if that’s the case [Messi leaving], the ties between Messi and Barcelona are very deep; he came to the city 20 years ago, he’s been playing for this club all his life. Messi is Barcelona, Barcelona is Messi, and what we need to ensure is that even if he leaves now these ties between Messi and Barcelona prevail,’ he added.
Victor Font revealed that Catalan giants want Messi to still be part of the club after he retires
‘We have a plan, and the plan we have for the future is the club would like to count on Messi, even after he retires.’
Manchester City have emerged as the favourites to strike a deal for the 33-year-old which would see him reunite with his old boss Pep Guardiola.
‘Only time will tell,’ Font said. ‘What is clear is the priority for Messi is to play in a team that can compete for the top silverware worldwide and in Europe.
‘He wants to win more Champions Leagues and obviously Manchester City and Pep are top candidates.’
LaLiga have ruled that Messi’s astronomical £630million (€700m) release clause is still active, given that the player did not issue his desire to trigger an option to leave for free before June 10.
Messi’s father Jorge is mobbed as he lands at Barcelona-El Prat airport to meet club’s president