Messi’s father arrives in Barcelona amid transfer talks

Barcelona, Sep 2 : Lionel Messi’s father Jorge took the centre stage after flying into Barcelona on Wednesday ahead of a meeting with FC Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu, to try and reach an agreement on the future of the Argentine superstar.

Messi senior arrived in town early on Wednesday morning, nine days after Lionel dropped the sporting bombshell of the summer by confirming that he wanted to leave Barcelona where he has spent the last 20 years after arriving as a 13-year-old.

Emerging from a scrum of reporters at Barcelona’s ‘El Prat airport, Jorge Messi gave little away, except saying that he “didn’t know anything”, before adding that Lionel’s future at the club was “difficult”, according Xinhua news agency.

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Jorge Messi then travelled to the office of the Leo Messi Foundation, where he was once again greeted by a group of photographers, while TV camera crew crowded the entrance to the FC Barcelona offices at the Camp Nou, hoping for a shot of the men of the moment.

Meanwhile, Barca continued to insist that Lionel Messi cannot walk away from the club and pointed to the 700 million euro release clause in his contract, while Messi’s camp said the clause did not apply and he was free to go wherever he wanted for nothing.

Messi failed to appear on Sunday for the PCR tests ahead of Barca’s return to training on Monday and has not attended any of the training sessions under new coach Ronald Koeman, meaning he is now in open rebellion with the club.

Wednesday also saw Barca launch the campaign for the new first team shirt for the coming season, with Messi taking centre stage in the publicity shoot – surely no coincidence in the current circumstance and perhaps a declaration of intent that is understandable given that the striker’s name is on 60 per cent of the replica shirts sold by the club.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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