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Barca break silence on Messi's transfer request

Barcelona make first public statements on Messi after his transfer request

August 26, 2020 By Ali M.
The club addressed the matter during today's unveiling of Francisco Trincao.

Barcelona have addressed the whole Lionel Messi debacle publicly for the first time since it broke on Tuesday that the Argentine has handed in a transfer request.  This did not come in the form of an official statement, rather a meeting between the club's sporting director and the press.

Francisco Trincao, the Portuguese starlet who signed from Sporting Braga in the beginning of the year, was officially presented at the Camp Nou today. While this day should have been about a 20-year-old talent donning the iconic Blaugrana jersey, the focus was on Messi and his desire to leave. 

Under-fire president Josep Maria Bartomeu was present at his unveiling, smiling for a picture with the youngster. However, when the time to confront the media came, Bartomeu sent Ramon Planes, the man who succeeded Eric Abidal, in his stead.

As a result, the sporting director addressed the questions regarding the six-time Ballon d'Or winner. Despite claims that Leo is at a point of no return, Planes stated that the club are dealing with this issue internally and that he is still optimistic of a happy ending.

"What's happened has happened and our idea is to build a team around the most important player in the world," the Barcelona executive said, as per BBC Sport.

"We want to build another winning cycle led by the best player in the world, the best in history.

"Barca and Leo are like a marriage, where both have given so much to each other, and have brought so much joy to the fans. I think the future is positive. I am an optimist."

Many have called for Bartomeu to resign in a bid to keep Messi on board, as it is the current president's leadership – or lack thereof – that has led the iconic Argentine down this path. Not only has the Blaugrana captain lost faith in the sporting project at the Camp Nou, but the 33-year-old has also lost all trust in the current board after numerous failures and scandals.

Regardless, a resignation doesn't appear to be on the horizon for Bartomeu. Instead, the Catalan giants are hoping to win back Leo's heart and are not yet resigned to losing their legendary talisman.

"We need experienced players like Leo Messi, as well as players for the team's future. We are putting every effort into ensuring that the relationship between Barca and Messi will continue. We are working internally to convince Leo," Planes added.

"Barca has rebuilt itself many times in the past years and it always comes back stronger and right now we are at that stage."

The once loyal relationship between Barcelona and Messi could unfortunately end in a legal battle, with the Argentine looking to rescind his contract. The 33-year-old wishes to exercise the clause that permits him to leave for free at the end of each season but the Blaugrana are adamant it expired on June 10. This could thus go to court but if Planes words are anything to go by, the Catalan giants are eager to avoid that route.

"We have to be very respectful. We can't make this a public discussion between Leo Messi and Barcelona because neither of the two deserve it.

"I don't think Leo deserves that and neither does Barca. And we will do a lot of internal work, we have done it and will keep doing it to build a winning Barca."

Time will reveal the outcome of this latest Camp Nou drama. The player has reportedly informed Guardiola that he is keen on joining Man City but other reports claim he favors PSG. As of now, however, nothing is decided.

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