Lionel Messi is now ‘90% likely to STAY at Barcelona’ after Josep Bartomeu pleaded with superstar’s father Jorge to help persuade his son to do a U-turn in 90-minute meeting on Wednesday
- Lionel Messi’s transfer saga continues to dominate the headlines in football
- Messi dropped a transfer bombshell on Barcelona by saying he wanted to leave
- He had become increasingly disillusioned with life on and off the pitch at Barca
- However, according to reports in Argentina, he could be about to make a U-turn
Lionel Messi is close to admitting defeat in his battle to leave Barcelona for Manchester City, according to TyC Sports in Argentina.
Barcelona asked Messi’s father Jorge to help persuade his son to reconsider his attempt to force his way out of the club, in a 90-minute meeting with Nou Camp president Josep Bartomeu on Wednesday night.
With neither side appearing willing to back down the stalemate looked set to continue but message has been relayed to the Barcelona captain and he is understood to be considering his options on Thursday.
Lionel Messi’s transfer saga with Barcelona continues to dominate headlines around the world
Several media in Argentina, who first reported that Messi had sent a Burofax to Barcelona requesting a free-transfer, even suggested he was now ’90 per cent likely to stay’.
Messi would carry on until June 2021 – effectively admitting defeat in the battle to prove his deadline for informing the club he wanted to leave should have been moved back because the pandemic delayed the end of the season.
The latest development came after Jorge Messi arrived in Barcelona from Argentina on Wednesday morning and began the day saying it would be ‘difficult’ for his son to stay at Barcelona.
He was asked by Cuatro Deportes in Spain: ‘How do you see it?’.
When he replied ‘difficult’ he was asked: ‘difficult for him to stay?’ and he replied: ‘yes’.
Jorge Messi held showdown talks with Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu on Wednesday
Bartomeu will be desperate to resolve the situation after coming under immense scrutiny
Asked if Manchester City was a ‘good option’, he replied: ‘I don’t know. There is still nothing’.
When it was put to him that Guardiola had told him it would be best if Messi stayed at Barcelona he said: ‘I have not spoken to Pep. I have not spoken to anyone.’
Finally asked: ‘How do you see [Messi’s] future at Barcelona?’ He repeated: ‘Difficult, difficult.’
Messi is understood to be considering his options again after Wednesday’s crunch talks
But Barcelona held firm in the subsequent meeting. Before the sit-down Bartomeu briefed reporters that the club would report both Messi and Manchester City if he moved to the Etihad without the payment of his £630million release clause.
The fact that the Barcelona president turned up to the meeting without lawyers has also been seen as a clear indication of the club feeling they are on more solid ground than Messi.
Barcelona are not training on Thursday so Messi has a day to think on changing his current position ahead of training on Friday.