Lionel Messi is considering the possibility of seeing out the final year of his Barcelona contract rather than forcing a move immediately, his father has confirmed.
Six-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi has informed the Blaugrana of his desire to leave Camp Nou after a disappointing season in 2019-20.
Barca failed to win a single trophy and was humiliated in the Champions League with an 8-2 quarter-final defeat to Bayern Munich.
Messi has a clause in his contract that allows him to leave for free at the end of each season, yet he did not immediately take up the option, leading Barca to believe they would be owed €700million for a transfer.
Initial talk of a negotiated move to Manchester City has given way to suggestions the Premier League club could only afford a free transfer, which is said to be unlikely.
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And with Jorge Messi, the player’s father, in Barcelona to discuss the next step, he appears to have accepted Messi might have to remain at the club before leaving on a free in 2021.
Asked if that was a possibility, Jorge told Deportes Cuatro: “Yes.”
Of the talks with under-fire Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu, he added: “[They have been] very good.”
Messi has yet to comment publicly on his intention to leave Barca but did not show for pre-season coronavirus testing and so has not trained since last month’s shock Champions League exit.