AFP/File / Josep Lago Barcelona's Lionel Messi is a five-time World Player of the Year who has also won more than 100 caps for Argentina
AFP/File / Josep Lago Barcelona's Lionel Messi is a five-time World Player of the Year who has also won more than 100 caps for Argentina

Jorge Messi took center stage from his son Lionel after flying into Barcelona on Wednesday ahead of a meeting with FC Barcelona President, Josep Maria Bartomeu, to try and reach agreement on the future of the striker

Messi senior arrived in town early in the morning nine days after Lionel dropped the sporting bombshell of the summer by confirming he wanted to leave the club where he has spent the last 20 years after arriving as a 13-year-old.

Emerging from a scrum of reporters at Barcelona’s ‘El Prat airport, Jorge Messi was giving little away, except to say he “didn’t know anything,” before adding Lionel’s future at the club was “difficult.”

Jorge then travelled to the office of the Leo Messi Foundation, where he was once again greeted by a group of photographers, while TV camera crews and photographers also crowded around the entrance to the FC Barcelona offices at the Camp Nou, hoping for a shot of the men of the moment.

Barca continue to insist Lionel Messi cannot walk away from the club and point to the 700 million euro release clause in his contract, while Messi’s camp say the clause does not apply and he is free to go wherever he wants for nothing.

Messi failed to appear on Sunday for the PCR tests ahead of Barca’s return to training on Monday and has not attended any of the training sessions under new coach Ronald Koeman, meaning he is now in open rebellion with the club.

Wednesday also saw Barca launch the campaign for the new first team shirt for the coming season, with Messi taking center stage in the publicity shoot – surely no coincidence in the current circumstance and perhaps a declaration of intent that is understandable given that the striker’s name is on 60 percent of the replica shirts sold by the club.

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