After two 2-2 draws against Celta Vigo and Atletico Madrid, Barcelona’s La Liga hopes are hanging by a thread.
Poor decisions on the bench appear to have matched those in the boardroom, and it had been previously reported that Lionel Messi had finally had enough and was preparing to leave the club at the end of his current contract in 2021, according to Cadena Ser cited by AS.
However, that notion has been put to bed by former agent, and someone who has been close to the Messi family and Barcelona for years, Josep Maria Minguella.
On Saturday it was even reported by Deportes Cuatro, cited by Sport, that Messi wants the club to fast track elections to this summer.
However, Minguella has interpreted Messi’s stance differently to some.
“It’s a combination of things, for many months at Barça, unfortunately, things have not gone well on the pitch and the financial side of things is also a problem,” he said on the show El 10 del Barca, cited by Sport.
“With the coronavirus crisis, they have asked the players to reduce their wages and that has all coincided with the beginning of talks over Messi’s new deal.
“It is not easy to negotiate in these circumstances, for one reason or another. It’s different when things are going well and there’s cash in the bank.
“[Everything] has created a bad atmosphere that’s not going to be definitive and Leo has said ‘If things are like this, we will wait until the future and we will keep on talking,’ but that should not be interpreted as him saying he won’t continue at the club.
“The player has not said he won’t continue, he’s not said that. He’s already had many chances to leave and hasn’t.
“One thing is being tired of the situation, even on the pitch he said the team’s not (in shape) to win the Champions League, but he’s not angry, just annoyed because he’s a winner. It’s been a while since he won the biggest titles.”
Perhaps the elections coming when they do will be a blessing for the Catalans.
They simply can’t afford to lose their best-ever player and more than that, they need a president who is fully behind the project and not just willing to throw money at the problem as Josep Maria Bartomeu appears keen to do.
As long as Barca keep Messi at the Camp Nou, then he has 2-3 more seasons in which to add to his trophy haul, and under new management he might just have a better chance of doing just that.