Barcelona (AP) – The conflict between world footballer Lionel Messi and FC Barcelona is on the move: the Argentinian’s father and manager, Jorge Messi, boarded a private plane to Spain in his hometown of Rosario, Argentine sports channel “TyC Sports” reported.
On Wednesday he will meet club president Josep Bartomeu, the Spanish newspaper “Mundo Deportivo” reported. It is not known whether Lionel Messi will be there himself. The superstar has been publicly silent since the 2: 8 debacle against FC Bayern in the quarter-finals of the Champions League two and a half weeks ago.
The 33-year-old also stayed away from the Catalans’ second practice in preparation for the new season. New coach Ronald Koeman led the second session at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper training center in Barcelona with the same 19 players who took part in the first practice on Monday evening, the club said.
As Messi had skipped mandatory corona tests for the first two training sessions on Sunday, the 33-year-old could now be accused by his employer of a “ serious breach of contract, ” after the third unjustified absence, several Spanish media reported unanimously. Under Spanish labor law, Messi, who has already informed the club of his intention to change, could be punished with 25 percent of his monthly salary.
The conflict escalated on Sunday. The organizers of the competition announced that Messi would not be allowed on a free transfer against his will. The appeal contract, which runs until June 2021, includes a replacement clause that will continue to apply. LaLiga does not mention the amount, but according to media reports it amounts to 700 million euros. The club insists that the club that wants to contract Messi pays that amount. Negotiations excluded, so the club.
As a result, the dispute threatens to land in court. It is unclear what proposals Jorge Messi (62) will make. Someone who knows Messi well gives the club and fans little hope. Countryman Jorge Valdano, world champion 1986 and today commentator on the Spanish media, says Barça has no chance of keeping the six-time world footballer. “Messi has already left Barcelona. Either he can go to another club or go home, I’m sure”, Valdano said in an interview with the radio station “Onda Cero”.
In addition to Messi, the professionals who will play for various national teams in the coming days were also missing. The German national goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen was also not there, because he has to take a longer break after his knee operation.