Lionel Messi summer transfer decision confirmed by Barcelona chief Josep Maria Bartomeu



Posted Wednesday, August 19, 2020 by Express.co.uk

Barcelona are a club in turmoil.

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has insisted Lionel Messi will not be sold this summer and will lead the rebuild with new manager Ronald Koeman.

The ramifications of Barcelona's stunning 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich on Friday continues at the Camp Nou with sporting director Eric Abidal following Quique Setien out of the club.

The Spanish side have moved quickly to line up Koeman to replace Setien, with his appointment expected to be confirmed this week.

Several players are expected to leave Barcelona as part of a reshuffle under Koeman.

But Barcelona's greatest ever player Messi's future is uncertain after 19 years at the club.

Lionel Messi summer transfer decision confirmed by Barcelona chief Josep Maria Bartomeu
Lionel Messi is unhappy with life at Barcelona (Image: GETTY)

Messi's exit would end a glorious era for him and be a hammer blow to Koeman's plans.

But speaking in an interview with Barcelona TV, Bartomeu was adamant Messi has decided to stick around.

He said: "Messi wants to end his career at Barça and will stay. I regularly speak to him and his father.

"Koeman counts on him and wants to build the team around him."

Lionel Messi summer transfer decision confirmed by Barcelona chief Josep Maria Bartomeu
Will Lionel Messi be on the move this summer? (Image: GETTY)

Bartomeu also confirmed they've held talks with Inter Milan over Argentine striker Lautaro Martinez.

"We spoke to Inter Milan about Lautaro but then the competitions restarted and there hasn’t been any contact since. We’ll see what happens," he revealed.

Despite calls for his resignation Bartomeu intends to remain in his role as president but the date for the next elections has been brought forward to March 2021.

"After considering all options, the board consider this to be the most viable date for the aforementioned elections," a statement read.

"The board understand that an immediate call for elections is not feasible, given that the league season will begin on the weekend of September 12, 2020, and the situation arising from the COVID-19 crisis - both economically and socially.

"Consequently, the club will continue to implement the plan to reverse the sporting and economic situation, based on profound changes to the first team, plus a redefined budget to deal with the new situation caused by COVID-19, before the end of the current mandate."



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