Lionel Messi transfer saga takes another bizarre twist as Josep Bartomeu’s car is spotted circling superstar’s father Jorge’s flat in Barcelona… but beleaguered club president is nowhere to be seen
- Josep Bartomeu was set for showdown talks with Lionel Messi’s father, Jorge
- The Barcelona president’s car was spotted circling Jorge’s flat but he wasn’t seen
- Jorge is trying to clarify Messi’s future after he told Barcelona he wanted to leave
- Messi’s father arrived in Barcelona on Wednesday to try and negotiate his exit
The Lionel Messi-Barcelona saga took another farcical turn when Spanish media filmed Josep Bartomeu’s car circling Jorge Messi’s flat in the city.
Bartomeu was not in the car, leading to speculation on Twitter that he a) was in the boot b) had tried to fool media with a decoy c) had been left behind by mistake by an absent-minded chauffeur.
The duo were set for showdown talks on Wednesday afternoon to clarify the six-time Ballon d’Or winner’s future.
Josep Bartomeu’s car circles Jorge Messi’s flat but the Barcelona chief was nowhere to be seen
Reporters filmed Bartomeu’s car outside the Barcelona flat on Wednesday afternoon
The Argentine superstar sent shockwaves throughout football after informing Barcelona recently, via fax, that he wanted to leave the club on a free transfer.
However, the transfer saga took another twist after Bartomeu’s car – without the Barca chief inside – rocked up at the flat on Wednesday before turning around and driving off again.
Messi’s father arrived in the Catalan city on Wednesday morning to negotiate his son’s exit with the first face-to-face talks with Bartomeu since the Argentine sent a burofax informing the club he wants to move on – with Manchester City his expected landing spot.
Bartomeu was reportedly only planning to use the meeting as a way to convince Messi to remain at the club.
Messi’s father is mobbed after leaving a restaurant in Barcelona ahead of talks with Bartomeu
The beleaguered president has a better relationship with Jorge than he does with Messi and is hopeful that could work to the club’s advantage.
But Messi’s father – before talks were set to get underway – confessed it is ‘difficult’ to see his son staying in Barcelona this summer.
As he emerged out of a taxi, a reporter quizzed Jorge for any updates on the situation and while he remained tight-lipped, he did express that he feels it is tough for Messi to stay given the player and club are at war now over his contract.
He was also asked if there had been any contact with current frontrunners City, and any negotiations with manager Pep Guardiola, but he remained dismissive.
Messi sent shockwaves throughout football after informing Barcelona he wanted to leave
Messi is said to be keen to move to City so as to reunite with Guardiola, who managed him so successfully at Barcelona.
‘I don’t know,’ Jorge said. ‘There’s nothing yet’.
Messi – who has scored an astonishing 634 goals and created 285 assists in 731 appearances for Barcelona – is desperately searching for a new chapter after growing increasingly frustrated with life on and off the pitch at the Nou Camp.
Messi was hoping to leave for free but LaLiga have ruled that Messi’s astronomical £630million (€700m) release clause is still active, given that the player did not issue his desire to trigger an option to depart for nothing before June 10.
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