2nd April, 2020
Lionel Messi has decided to stay at Barcelona despite his latest clash with the Spanish club’s hierarchy, according to reports in Spain.
Earlier in the week, Messi attacked Barcelona’s hierarchy for putting pressure on the players after the squad agreed to take a 70 per cent wage cut during Spain’s coronavirus crisis.
He said: ‘Even many times we have also done this on our own initiative, at other times when we thought it was necessary or important.
‘Therefore, it does not cease to surprise us that from within the club there were those who tried to put us under the magnifying glass and tried to add pressure to do something that we always knew we would do.
‘In fact, if the agreement has been delayed for a few days it is simply because we were looking for a formula to help the club and also its workers in these difficult times.’
As part of a clause in his contract, Messi could leave Barcelona on a free transfer at the end of the season.
But despite his friction with Barca’s hierarchy, Mundo Deportivo reports that Messi intends to stay at Camp Nou.
The report claims that Messi was due to make his decision in April and his father was supposed to hold talks with Barca’s president Josep Maria Bartomeu.
However, negotiations are now up in the air after the season was halted due to coronavirus.
This has not been the first time Messi has clashed with Barca’s hierarchy as he hit out at sporting director Eric Abidal in February for suggesting that the club’s players were not working hard under former coach Ernesto Valverde.