Lionel Messi's father to resume Barcelona talks with club president

Lionel's father and agent Jorge Messi set to meet Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu for second day to resolve impasse over contract situation

Lionel Messi 3:24
Lionel Messi's representatives are to hold a second day of discussions with Barcelona over his potential move away from the Nou Camp

Crunch talks over Lionel Messi's future at Barcelona are expected to resume on Thursday after his father and agent flew in from Argentina.

Jorge Messi boarded a private jet taking him from Rosario to Barcelona and landed in the private terminal of the El Prat airport at around 6.45am on Wednesday morning.

He then arrived at the Fundacion Leo Messi, where he conceded to Spanish television programme El Chiringuito that it is "difficult" his son will stay at Barcelona.

However, he said that "there is nothing yet" in terms of a possible move to Manchester City and that he had not spoken to Pep Guardiola.

Jorge Messi 0:18
Lionel Messi's father and agent Jorge was greeted by a crowd of reporters and camera crews after leaving a Barcelona restaurant on Wednesday

Messi senior was due to meet Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu and the rest of the Barcelona board to resolve the impasse between player and club over the forward's contract situation.

Talks were described as 'exploratory' and not much progress has been made, with a new face-to-face meeting with the board expected to take place on Thursday.

Jorge Messi at Barcelona airport
Image: Jorge Messi arrives at Barcelona-El Prat airport on a private jet

Messi no longer considers himself a Barcelona player and did not turn up to the club's Covid-19 testing on Sunday and subsequent start of training sessions on Monday.

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The 33-year-old, who has played for the Spanish team for almost 20 years, informed the club last week he wants to leave.

What power does Messi snr have?

Lionel Messi 1:08
Spanish football expert Tim Vickery believes Barcelona are growing increasingly desperate over the Messi situation

South American football expert Tim Vickery:

"He's a little bit like his son in that he is difficult to read, he's not someone I'd like to play poker against. But I think the main power here is with Lionel.

"It is Lionel who is 33 - who unfortunately for us all is closer to the end than the beginning of his career - and it is Lionel who really wants to spend the last few years of his top-class career in an environment where he feels respected by the people that run the club he is playing for.

"He wants to feel he is in a competitive environment where he can have a chance of winning the Champions League so I think the power is not with the dad, it's with the son."

Lionel Messi
1:12
Lionel Messi and his representatives are due to hold talks with Barcelona over a potential move away from the club

Where is Señor Messi Senior?

Sky Sports News reporter Gary Cotterill reflects on a frantic day chasing Jorge Messi around Barcelona...

What a day. Four different locations for Jorge Messi, five different locations for me and my new best friend Axel, a lifelong Barcelona fan. You can tell straight away - he grimaces when I mention Marc Overmars.

He wants to know - where is Señor Messi Senior? So do I. At first, before 7am, we found him on a private jet landing at Barcelona airport. Then, a bit later, he was struggling to avoid paparazzi at his son's charity headquarters.

As Jorge made his way, on foot, down an underground car park ramp, he was polite enough to entertain some questions. Staying at Barcelona will be "difficult" - in fact, he said it would be "difficult" three times. Then he added: "No. I have not spoken to Pep."

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Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos wants Lionel Messi to stay at Barcelona.

After four hours inside the Messi Foundation offices he went for lunch - a nice, understated Italian. He ate pasta, but drank only water. The wine and champagne may be on hold until an agreement can be reached?

We found Señor Messi at lunch, along with about 30 other journalists and cameras. So, of course, when he left, it turned into the traditional bun fight.

After 14 hours in the air from Argentina to Spain, then a big while in Leo's business high rise, then a nice lunch, it was time, finally, to get down to business. The much anticipated meeting between Messi Senior and President Josep Maria Bartomeu.

We thought it would be at the Nou Camp office, but it wasn't. No one is yet sure on where it was - probably Jorge Messi's Barcelona home.

Frenkie de Jong 0:21
Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong admits it is chaos at Barcelona as he prepares to go back following the international break

Right here, right now, no one likes Bartomeu. Even half his board don't like him, they want Lionel Messi to be allowed to leave with dignity.

The initial talks didn't take long - the President said Lionel belongs to me and Lionel's Dad said no he doesn't. Then the meeting was over, much quicker than it began. Bartomeu went home, I know this as fact because Axel followed him, just to make sure.

Like all of us, he wants to know.

Messi 360: The view from Barca, Man City and Argentina

GRAPHIC

Lionel Messi has stunned the football world by demanding to leave Barcelona. But his contract situation is complicated and this is just the beginning of what could be a lengthy, acrimonious and ultimately historic departure.

Ahead of the key meeting between Messi's father and the Barcelona board, we assess the situation.

To understand how it stands, and how it could develop, you have to view it from all sides...

Read the full story here

Messi stay unlikely, says Barca presidential candidate

Barcelona presidential candidate Victor Font says Lionel Messi's "departure must be as friendly as possible"
Image: Barcelona presidential candidate Victor Font says Lionel Messi's "departure must be as friendly as possible"

Barcelona presidential hopeful Victor Font says it seems unlikely Lionel Messi will change his mind about leaving the club.

Speaking exclusively to Sky Sports, Font - the man who hopes to take over from current president Josep Bartomeu - stated his belief while there is hope, the likely outcome is that the player will leave.

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