When the news first broke that Lionel Messi could be leaving Barcelona, it scarcely seemed believable, but as time has gone on, it has become clear that the Argentinian wants out of Camp Nou.
President, Josep Maria Bartomeu, is likely to be forever known as the man who allowed Barca’s best-ever player to leave, and that is a disaster according to presidential hopeful, Toni Freixa.
“Messi is a player who longs for maximum success. He alone cannot achieve maximum success, he needs a team to do it. He doesn’t have that.
“That worries him. His decision is due to the negative sporting development in recent years.
“[…] Bartomeu is certainly complicit in the situation because a president also has the task of building a close relationship with the most important pillars of the team.
“Be it to the coach, be it to the captains. He has not succeeded in doing this over the years. He couldn’t prevent Messi from seeing a change of club as the only alternative for himself.
“This is a disaster. However, there is never a single culprit.
“[…] I think City is likely. Messi had his most dazzling years in Barcelona with Pep. It would only make sense if both would work together again.
“Like almost all English clubs, City also has the financial means to build a team that can win anything.”
It’s likely that any legal argument is going to ramble on for a while yet, with Messi seemingly believing he can just walk away, whilst Bartomeu is apparently insisting that his release clause is paid or he’s going nowhere.
The likelihood is that a judge will have to set a price, but no amount of money can surely compensate the current board.
They will have to carry the can as the ones that presided over the team’s demise to such an extent that a player who had said many times previously that he would never leave, now can’t wait to get out.