Fans gathering outside the Joan Gamper training complex at 10am in the ardent hope of seeing if their hero would turn up were left disappointed.
Barcelona’s players returned to the club’s training ground for coronavirus testing on Sunday ahead of pre-season training but, as expected, Lionel Messi wasn’t there as it had been widely reported on Saturday that the Argentinian wouldn’t attend Barcelona’s Covid-19 testing scheme as he attempts to force through his persistent move away from the Camp Nou.
Messi wants to bid goodbye to the Blaugrana after years of disorganisation at the club but Barcelona are certainly not going to make things easy for him by any means at their disposal.
They claim that the deadline to activate the clause in Messi’s contract that would allow him to leave this summer has already passed.
However the 33-year-old and his lawyers claim that he can still activate the clause because the season was extended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
With the new La Liga season scheduled to start on September 12, the two parties are fast running out of time to sort things out.
LaLiga came to Barcelona’s side on Sunday by claiming that Messi’s €700 million release clause is still valid. Obviously the league can ill afford to lose someone as influential as Messi to the Premier League, having lost Ronaldo to the Serie A before this.
But their statement that suitors for Messi have to stump out €700 million may even be entirely accurate after an update from Spanish journalist Alfredo Martinez, who works for Onda Cero, who had taken to Twitter to claim that Messi’s €700m release clause DOESN’T apply, and that he can leave Barcelona for free.
So what was that La Liga brouhaha all about, then?
Of course, the league aren’t going to want to let their prized asset go but it seems strange for them to side with Barcelona if they haven’t considered what Messi’s contract actually says.
Given everything Messi has done for Barcelona and La Liga, it would be a real shame if they continue to make this difficult for him.
Especially if his contract really does allow him to leave for free this summer.
And in a latest twist to this imbroglio, the Barca goons have just released their latest take on the affair, insisting that the only way they would allow Messi to leave for free would be if he were to refrain from playing for the next entire season and just sit it out in the stands.
What the hell is going in the heads of these Barca bozos?
Credit: Football Tribe Malaysia