Sunday, September 27, 2020

Barcelona trying to convince Messi to stay, insists sporting director Planes

SoccerNews in La Liga 26 Aug 2020

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Barcelona are still trying to convince Lionel Messi to stay at the club and expect him to attend training when sessions resume, according to sporting director Ramon Planes.

Messi rocked Barcelona on Tuesday when it emerged the six-time Ballon d’Or winner informed the club he would like to leave.

The 33-year-old reportedly intends to activate a clause in his contract that would allow him to unilaterally terminate their agreement following the 2019-20 season and join another club.

While it was required to be activated before the end of May, Messi told the club he still intends to make use of it as the season was extended into August due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Planes, promoted to his role following Eric Abidal’s dismissal last week, says Barca have not given up hope of continuing their association with Messi.

Although Planes was speaking as Barca presented new signing Francisco Trincao to the media, unsurprisingly the focus was not on the young Portuguese winger.

“It was important news about Messi, but what we feel and have said many times is that we think of Messi as a Barca player,” Planes said.

“Today Trincao arrives and we hope that he will triumph alongside Messi. Barca has rebuilt itself many times throughout its history and has always come back strong. Our idea is to do it around the best player in the world.

“You have to have enormous respect for Leo because of what he is and because of his history. We are not thinking about any contractual clause.

“Messi’s marriage to Barca has given both parties a lot, much joy to the fans and internally we are working to convince Messi, to find the best solution for Barca and for Messi.

“We are making additions like Pedri and Trincao to make a winning and young team, all clubs are regenerating.

“It is not a dispute between Messi and Barcelona, ​​neither deserve it. We are working to make a winning Barca.”

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