Lionel Messi’s father, Jorge, landed in Barcelona this morning for crunch talks with the La Liga giants and he was quizzed about the Argentine’s links to Manchester City en route to the Nou Camp.
A host of journalists waiting at the airport to quiz Messi’s father and agent about his potential exit.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner has told Barca that he wants to leave on a free transfer this summer.
There is some confusion over whether the 33-year-old should be allowed to walk away without commanding a fee.
City have been strongly rumoured to be interested in bringing Messi to the Premier League to be reunited with Pep Guardiola.
Some reports even suggest an agreement has been struck which will see Messi spend three years at the Etihad Stadium and a further two with their sister club New York City.
However, Jorge Messi said “there is nothing” behind the speculation linking his son to City.
He added “I didn’t talk to Pep” when asked if he had opened a dialogue with the Blues boss.
Jorge is expected to tell Barca chiefs that Messi will not return to training and he expects talks to be “difficult.”
Full transcript between Jorge Mendes and Deportes Cuatro
DC: Jorge, Hello … Is Leo going to leave Barca or what?
JM: I don’t know
DC: How do you see it?
DC: Hard to stay?
Meanwhile, ESPN pundit Alejandro Moreno wonders if City signing Messi would be bad news for two of their current stars.
“Will Kevin de Bruyne’s role change? No, I don’t think so,” Moreno said.
“I think he’ll actually get more opportunities to get forward.
“Lionel Messi has shown in the last couple of years that he’s dropped into more of a playmaker role, so De Bruyne and his passing only adds to that.
“Then, he can also play runs off whoever is playing the centre-forward position, and maybe he can be more of a presence in the attacking 18-yard box as well, because he doesn’t have to do all the passing – Lionel Messi can do it for him.
“For Silva and Foden, it’s a different conversation for both of them.
“Foden will be on the bench, Bernardo Silva will also be coming off the bench as well.
“He’ll have to play better than he did this last year.”
Published at Wed, 02 Sep 2020 10:05:00 +0000