BARCELONA

Messi in no mood to humour Bartomeu as tension grows

Neymar, 'Barçagate', Valverde, problems with salary cuts during the pandemic. A series of issues stemming with the president have contributed to Messi's frustration.

Messi in no mood to humour Bartomeu as tension grows
David Ramos Getty Images

A sense of anxiety is palpable in the offices of FC Barcelona with the news that Lionel Messi has advised his father (and agent) to halt conversations relating to what would be the player's ninth renewal with the Catalan club. Barça have stated that they are not aware of this situation but club president Josep Maria Bartomeu will himself be aware of the latest developments with the president himself personally involved in Messi's recent 2014 and 2017 contract renewal processes.

At present Messi is in no mood to permit Bartomeu with the classic renewal photo opportunity as the president's tenure in the role comes to an end, such is his frustration with the powers that be at the club. A series of incidents this season have led to the current situation with the failure to secure a Camp Nou return for Neymar the starting point at the beginning of the season with the Argentine stating: "I'm not sure if the club did all it could to sign him". The club sacked Ernesto Valverde in January with Messi reportedly unhappy how it was handled. This was followed up with the declarations from Abidal where the sporting director implied that the players were instrumental in the sacking of the Basque coach with Messi replying to the former player via an Instagram statement. The 'Barçagate' scandal also rocked the club where an external agency I3 Ventures was hired by the club to create false social media profiles with an apparent attempt to attack those who where were deemed to be swimming against the tide of the Barcelona board with Messi considered as one of these individuals.

Election day

Messi will cease to be a Barcelona player as of 30 June (2021) and the club is set to hold new presidential elections at some stage that year. The timing of the elections could be key in the captain's renewal with opposition to a Bartomeu succession candidate set to emerge in the form of Victor Font who is rumoured to have Xavi lined up as future Barça coach.

Argentina return?

The vice-president of Newell's Old Boys,Cristian D'Amico, said it's not impossible that Messi moves back to the Argentinian club while speaking to TNT Sports.

"I don't know if it's impossible," he said. "It's a decision exclusively made by him and his family. We have to have the best possible context to help make a decision. When Maradona came to Newell's, nobody thought that he would come either. I hope to to do something similar with Leo."

"My idea is to stay with the club and whilst that's the interest of the club, then I foresee no problem" stated the No. 10 back in February. Time will now tell how this situation relating to the Argentine star will transpire.