While the wait continues to hear from Lionel Messi, Barcelona continues to do everything it can to convince him to stay.
The team has told the Argentine star that President Josep Bartomeu will resign if it is what it takes for him to stay with them, but Barcelona said on Friday they had not yet received word from Messi about the offer.
Bartomeu is willing to resign under the condition that Messi publicly say that the president was the reason he wanted to leave the team, Barcelona said while confirming reports in the Spanish media.
On Tuesday, Messi expressed his desire to leave by sending Barcelona a burofax, a certified document similar to a telegram, invoking a contract clause allowing him to leave at the end of the season. The Catalan club pointed out that the clause expired on June 10 and told the Argentine that he wants him to stay until the end of his contract in June 2021.
Without pointing directly at Bartomeu, Messi has spoken out against the club’s decisions this season, the first in which Barcelona failed to win a single title since 2007-08.
The Argentine publicly complained about former manager Éric Abidal after he criticized the players’ efforts after a series of poor results in February. Abidal left Barcelona following the team’s 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals of the Champions League.
Bartomeu is not believed to have spoken to Messi since the player announced his decision to leave. The president said after the loss to Bayern that he spoke to the forward’s father and told him he was frustrated and disappointed.
Later, it was reported that Messi spoke to new manager Ronald Koeman and told him that he looked more outside than inside the club at the time.
Messi also might not be too happy with some of Koeman’s early decisions, including not keeping Uruguayan forward Luis Suárez, Messi’s longtime teammate and friend.
Koeman also said he will not include Ivan Rakitic, Samuel Umtiti and Chile’s Arturo Vidal in his plans.
Koeman’s arrival to replace coach Quique Setién was the beginning of what Barcelona said were profound changes in the first team and a broad restructuring of the team, which also included the call for new presidential elections in March.
Opponents of Bartomeu, who has been in charge of the team since 2014, filed a motion of no confidence a few days ago against him and called for his resignation. Hundreds of fans have also protested against Bartomeu in front of the Camp Nou stadium in recent days.
The box is expected to return from its break on Sunday and undergo coronavirus testing. Training is scheduled to resume on Monday, prior to the start of the Spanish La Liga.