Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu is “willing to resign” if Lionel Messi makes a public promise to stay at the club.
The under-fire club chief has claimed he will bow to the fans’ demands and walk away from the Nou Camp – if it keeps Messi at the club. The Argentine superstar, 33, revealed his desire to quit earlier this week after a horror season at Barca.
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Messi has spent 20 years at Barcelona, scoring a record 634 goals – and his threat to quit stunned the world. The Argentinee admitted he could be tempted to stay at the Nou Camp if Bartomeu resigns from his post.
Bartomeu is entitled to stay at the club for one more year when the new presidential elections take place.
But, seemingly with Barcelona’s best interests at heart, Bartomeu has reportedly said he WILL quit if Messi promises to stay, according to reports.
On Wednesday night, angry fans broke through the Nou Camp gates as protests against Bartomeu continued into a second night. Earlier this week, Messi asked to exploit a clause in his deal to let him leave for nothing this summer.
On paper, Messi needed to make the admission before June 10. But his representatives believe it should be extended until the end of August because of the coronavirus pandemic that delayed the season.
Barcelona are adamant the clause has expired and will only let him leave if a club matches his £630million release clause. It could now lead to a bitter legal battle much like Neymar’s row with Barca following his £198m move to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017.
City have emerged as favourites to beat PSG and Inter Milan to his signature but it is all is likely to depend on Messi’s contract debacle at Barca.
Messi’s current package at the Nou Camp, in basic wages, bonuses and image rights, is worth around £100m a year. City are not prepared to fork out such a fee but are ready to offer him a lucrative wage should Messi become available for nothing.Photo Credit: Getty