Barcelona’s new technical director Ramon Planes says the club want to keep Lionel Messi after the Argentine forward handed in a transfer request to leave.
Lionel Messi informed to leave the club of his decision via burofax on Tuesday and is now pushing to leave Barcelona on a free transfer due to a particular clause in his contract.
However, Barca are aware that the clause which allows him to leave for free had already expired on June 10 and they believe they are now able to hold out until Messi’s €700 million (£629m) buyout fee is met by any interested club.
But Messi is arguing that the clause remains active as the coronavirus crisis halted Barcelona’s campaign and their season did not end until their humbling 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich on August 14.
Acoording to reports, Manchester City are leading the race to sign Messi, the 33-year-old has already held discussions with Pep Guardiola and is keen on the reuniting with his former head coach.
On Wednesday, Barcelona unveiled new signing Francisco Trincao and at the presentation for the player, Planes responded to Messi’s push to leave the club and denied reports which claim that he will refuse to report for training.
‘It was very important news, we have always said that we want to build the new Barcelona around Messi, the best player in history,’ said Planes, who replaced Eric Abidal as technical director just last week.
- Lionel Messi wants Man City move after talks with Guardiola
- Jose Mourinho thought Chelsea would ‘s**t themselves’ and miss out on top four
‘We can’t have a public dispute between Barcelona and Messi because neither side deserves that. ‘Messi has not told us that he’s not going to show up for training.
‘We do not contemplate any contractual exit, because we want Messi to stay. ‘Internally we have been working for long hours to find the best solution for the club and for Leo.
‘Anyone that understands a little bit about football wants to have Leo in their team. It is an immense pleasure to see a player like him. He is a winner, Barcelona are winners and we want to get back to winning.’