Lionel Messi’s father and agent met with Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu on Wednesday to discuss the player’s desire to leave the club, but the talks ended in stalemate, Spanish media reported.
Earlier, Jorge Messi said it would be “difficult” for his son to stay at Barcelona, the only club he has played for professionally.
The meeting lasted an hour and a half and took place in a cordial atmosphere, according to the media, including the sports newspapers Marca and Mundo Deportivo.
They said Bartomeu sees Messi as a key part of Barca’s plans to rebuild under new manager Ronald Koeman. There were no comments from the club.
Messi, a six-time world player of the year, unhappy that his team failed to win any trophies last season and humiliated by an 8-2 win in the Champions League by Bayern Munich, he told the club last week he wanted to leave.
The Argentine insists that he has a clause in his contract that allows him to leave for free.
It’s a claim disputed by Barcelona and La Liga, who say they can only leave if a rival club is willing to pay a 700 million euro ($ 830.20 million) buyout clause.
“I don’t know, I don’t know anything,” Messi’s father told Spanish television channel Cuatro after flying in a private jet.
Pressed as if it would cost him to stay, he said “yes”, and asked how he sees Messi’s future at Barcelona, he answered “difficult, difficult”.
Messi missed a medical exam on Sunday and did not show up for the first training session of the season on Monday.