26 August 2020
Lionel Messi hasn’t respected Barcelona in handing in a transfer request and the club will be fine without him according to one of their presidential candidates.
The news that the Barca icon has expressed a desire to leave the Nou Camp has come as a shock to the football world, with the 33-year-old seemingly exasperated at recent events in Catalonia.
Barca lost 8-2 to eventual European champions Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals earlier this month, with that result leading to the departures of manager Quique Setien and sporting director Eric Abidal.
Ex-Barcelona defender and former Southampton and Everton boss Ronald Koeman has been appointed as the new head coach, but he has walked into a furious row between Messi and the club he joined as a child back in 2001.
The Barca icon would now like to activate a clause in his contract which he believes allows him to leave on a free transfer, but which is something that the club themselves dispute.
Former Barca director and current presidential candidate Toni Freixa say he’s not too bothered about Messi’s decision though.
“I am not overly concerned about Messi leaving because everything has an end,” he told Radio Marca.
“What is important is that he did it in such an unfortunate way and without respecting the club.”
Freixa is one of the candidates to replace the unpopular Josep Maria Bartomeu in the presidential hot seat, with the current incumbent potentially facing a vote of no confidence as anger grows around Messi’s actions.
Manchester City, Inter Milan and Paris Saint-Germain have all been linked with moves for the Barca skipper, but Freixa says that if he wants to leave he’ll have to pay up his huge release clause himself given that he has one year left on his contract.
“I am surprised and disappointed as a Barcelona man. I am disappointed by what Messi has done,” he continued.
“The contracts are to be fulfilled and what Messi has to do is come with €700m (£628m) and leave.”