Done deal: Messi to Man City?
Lionel Messi has agreed a deal worth €700m with the City Football Group, according to the Daily Record.
Earlier on, Barcelona presidential candidate, Victor Font, was reported to have told Sky Sports News that he believes wantaway star Lionel Messi is unlikely change his mind on his decision to leave Camp Nou, and has urged the club’s bosses to make “the transition as smooth as possible.”
Last week Messi shocked the footballing world when news broke of his now-famous burofax, in which he demanded that Barcelona allow him to leave immediately.
The 33-year-old striker claims a clause in his contract allows him to walk away from Camp Nou on a free transfer. Barcelona, for their part, are holding firm that the player’s option to execute that clause expired in June, meaning any club looking to sign him would have to pay his €700 million buyout fee.
However the fact that the season was extended until August due to the coronavirus suspension means Messi’s lawyers are likely to argue the clause was still valid due to those exceptional circumstances.
A lengthy and ugly legal battle could ensue between Messi and Barcelona on the issue. Messi’s father and agent, Jorge Messi, is set to meet club president Josep Bartomeu on Wednesday to discuss the best way forward.
But Font – who will challenge Bartomeu in presidential elections scheduled for 2021 – has said that, although he remains hopeful, Messi will be unlikely to go back on his decision at this point. If so, he believes the club should cut their losses and facilitate the Argentine superstar’s exit so as to not tarnish the longstanding relationship between both sides in the future.
“It doesn’t seem likely, though, and therefore if that’s the case, the focus should be on making the transition as smooth as possible. And the ties between Messi and Barcelona that go very deep, remain there, so we can ensure somehow, the relationship continues in the future.”
Messi has already left Barcelona – Valdano
Font’s comments have come soon after those made by ex-Argentina international, and former Real Madrid player, coach and general manager, Jorge Valdano, who claimed in an interview on Spanish radio that Messi has mentally left Barcelona already.
Valdano also called on Barcelona to accept the situation and begin planning for a future without their veteran captain and arguably the greatest player in history of the game – upon whom the Catalan club has long been seen as over-dependent.
“Either he goes to another club or to his home, but he has already left Barcelona. I am totally convinced. I have no doubt,” Valdano said on Onda Cero show El Transistor (via Perform).
“The sooner Barcelona realise they are going to lose the best player in their history, the sooner they can focus on rebuilding.”
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