Lionel Messi has requested showdown talks with Barcelona officials after handing in a transfer request at the Nou Camp this week.
Messi sent shockwaves rippling through the footballing universe earlier this week by informing Barca that he wants to leave the club via burofax – a popular method of business communication in Spain.
It is believed the Argentinian is seeking a new challenge following their humiliating 8-2 defeat against Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
Manchester City are reportedly leading the race for his signature, while Paris St-Germain and Inter Milan are also said to be in the running.
Yet according to Spanish outlet El Periodico, Messi has now asked for a meeting with Barca chiefs to reach a “friendly agreement” regarding his future.
The 33-year-old is understood to be eager for talks to take place as soon as possible in order to prevent the situation from getting any worse.
Barca officials remain adamant that he is still under contract for another year, with a €700million release clause included in that deal.
However, Messi believes he should be entitled to leave the club for free this summer, due to a clause inserted in the contract that allows him to leave at the end of the 2019/20 campaign.
The Spanish club claim that clause expired on June 10, but Messi and his team may point to the season finishing at a much later date following the coronavirus pandemic as a reason why it should be extended.
One man who wants to see Messi depart Barca is former Man City captain Vincent Kompany, who has urged the Ballon d’Or to join his old side this summer.
“It'd be incredible for the club to have a player like him — he could help them take the next step by winning the Champions League,” Kompany said.
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“I know Guardiola's way of thinking, so I can well imagine the two of them will still have a rapport. If Messi has decided to leave Barcelona then I can only respect his decision.
“Let's be clear — as a City fan, I hope Messi joins them. I can imagine Pep and Messi still have one another's phone numbers. So they can give one another a call.”
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