‘Untransferable’: Barcelona declare Lionel Messi UNTOUCHABLE as new boss Ronald Koeman holds showdown talks with wantaway star
The Barcelona board are braced to resist any transfer bids for Lionel Messi as new boss Ronald Koeman declares six-time Ballon d’Or winner crucial to his plans, despite the Argentinian ace’s apparent discontent at the Camp Nou.
For the first time since he joined the club two decades ago, rumors have suggested that Messi’s discontent at Barcelona’s poor performance last season could lead to the club’s star player deciding that his future lies away from the Catalan club.
Backroom rancor and discontent under former boss Quique Setien came to a head following Barcelona’s humiliating 8-2 UEFA Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich last week.
It led to a cull of several staff members, including Setien and technical secretary Eric Abidal.
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The new man in the Barca dugout, Dutchman Ronald Koeman, knows that Messi’s sanctioning of his “project” at the Camp Nou will be crucial to his success at the helm of the club – and the new man in charge reportedly summoned Messi from his summer vacation for crunch showdown talks this week.
Koeman has been keen to ensure that details of his top-level talks with his club captain are kept under wraps but, according to Barcelona beat reporter Marcal Lorente – a man understood to have close ties to the club’s board – the club has deemed their prized asset “untransferable.”
⚠️ Noticia @sinconcesiones
📌El BARÇA DECLARA INTRANSFERIBLE A MESSI y no acepta ofertas por él.
📌Koeman cuenta con él para un nuevo ciclo y tiene contato en vigor.
📌El Barça solo venderá jugadores que no quiera Koeman porque es un problema deportivo, y no institucional.
— Marçal Lorente 🎤 (@Marsallorente) August 22, 2020
“Barcelona has declared Messi as ‘untransferable’ and will not accept offers for him,” Lorente wrote on Twitter (via translation).
“Koeman counts on him for a new cycle and he still has a valid contract. The club will only sell players that Koeman does not want.”
Several well-known names could well be headed for the Barcelona exit door between now and the delayed start of the new season with Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann and others understood to be available for the right price.
But the club’s global fanbase will be relieved to learn that there is serious opposition within the club’s corridors of power to sanction Messi’s sale.
All that is left now is for the player to make a similar declaration, and Barcelona supporters will breathe a collective sigh of relief amid a period of rare uncertainty at one of the world’s best-regarded football clubs.
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