Barcelona break their silence over Lionel Messi with new sporting director claiming they are NOT contemplating star man leaving… as club hide under-fire president Josep Bartomeu from the media during Francisco Trincao’s unveiling
- Barcelona were left in disarray after Lionel Messi told the club he wanted to leave
- Club president Josep Bartomeu has now come under even more scrutiny
- Messi confirmed via fax to the Spanish giants that he wanted to leave on a free
- Bartomeu did not attend press conference during Francisco Trincao’s unveiling
- Ramon Planes was the man tasked with answering questions on Messi
The Spanish giants were left in disarray by Messi’s shock decision and president Josep Bartomeu has come under even more scrutiny for letting the fractious situation between the star man and the club’s hierarchy deteriorate beyond repair.
But during Francisco Trincao’s unveiling as a new Barcelona player on Wednesday, the club kept Bartomeu out of the firing line amid the deluge of questions over Messi’s future.
Lionel Messi shocked Barcelona on Tuesday after telling the club he wants to leave for free
Instead, it was up to sporting director Ramon Planes to answer about Messi, insisting that the club are desperate for the six-time Ballon d’Or winner to stay.
Planes, who took over from Eric Abidal as sporting director this month, said: ‘We do not contemplate any contractual exit, because we want Leo to stay.
‘Internally we are working long hours to find the best solution for FCB and for Leo.’
He added: ‘This is evidently the important news, we have said many times, as (coach Ronald) Koeman and the president have said, we count on Messi for the future just like we count on Trincao as a talent for the future.
‘We hope he will play alongside the greatest player in history, the greatest player in the world, but these things happen and we hope we will come back stronger from the defeat at the end of last season.
Ramon Planes said Barcelona are not contemplating the six-time Ballon d’Or winner leaving
‘What has happened has happened and our idea is to build a team around the most important player in the world.’
The sensational news on Messi emerged after he held crunch talks with new manager Koeman – who took over from Quique Setien following their humiliating 8-2 defeat against Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
Messi decided his time was up at the Nou Camp after he was told, according to Argentine news outlet Diario Ole, by Koeman at a meeting: ‘Your privileges in the squad are over, you have to do everything for the team. I’m going to be inflexible, you have to think about the team.’
There could be chaotic times ahead at the Nou Camp as they desperately aim to…