Barcelona dressing room ‘unsettled’ by Lionel Messi’s ongoing transfer saga… with team-mates ‘not feeling valued by Argentine superstar’
- Lionel Messi is entering the last six months of his £500,000-a-week contract
- He pushed to leave in the summer but was reluctant to take Barcelona to court
- Reports in Spain say the saga over his future has disrupted the dressing room
Lionel Messi’s failure to come to a decision on his future has reportedly damaged the harmony of Barcelona’s dressing room.
Team-mates are said to feel ‘undervalued’ by Messi and Mundo Deportivo adds that comments the captain is unhappy and ‘alone’ have disrupted the dressing room.
The 33-year-old sent the club a burofax in the summer to insist on his departure but once it became apparent he would need to take the club to court, Messi reluctantly agreed to play out the final year of his contract.
The transfer saga over Lionel Messi’s (right) future is said to be affecting the dressing room
Messi reluctantly agreed to see out his contract after the club refused to sanction his exit
Messi has cut a subdued figure this season having seen close friend Luis Suarez sold to rivals Atletico Madrid.
Last month he went on the attack against Barcelona, insisting he is ‘tired of always being the problem for everything’ at the club.
It has also been a stop-start season, particularly domestically, with Barcelona sat ninth in LaLiga, winning just four of their opening 10 matches.
Messi is entering the final six months of his £500,000-a-week deal and he has been heavily linked with an exit next year with reports claiming he is growing increasingly unhappy at the club following his failed move to Pep Guardiola’s City back in the summer.
Interim president Carles Tusquets caused controversy recently when he revealed his belief is that the club would have been better off financially if they had sold Messi.
Tusquets, who is filling the gap prior to elections, said he would have allowed Barca’s captain to leave after he handed in a transfer request in the summer. His comments were criticised by manager Ronald Koeman who described them as unhelpful.
With Barcelona preparing for presidential elections next month, one candidate remains convinced Messi can be won over to stay at the Nou Camp.
Catalan businessman Jordi Farre is among the candidates to replace Josep Maria Bartomeu in next month’s election and the 45-year-old, who is running alongside Victor Font, Joan Laporta, Toni Freixa and Lluis Fernandez, has promised to tie Messi down to a new contract if he is voted in.
Gerard Pique is hopeful that Barca can convince Messi to stay at the club and sign a new deal
Farre said: ‘If we win the elections in January, Leo will renew his contract on the 25th.
‘He is the best player in the history of football and we have to offer him an exciting project.
‘We will be capable of motivating him and, the day after becoming president, I hope to have him renewed.’
Gerard Pique a long-time team-mate of Messi remains hopeful the Argentine will chance his mind and re-commit to the club.
‘You will have to ask Leo, I don’t know,’ Pique replied at a question and answer session for the CRIS Cancer Foundation when asked if Messi would remain at the Catalan club beyond the summer.
‘We hope he stays. It’s a personal decision. We will see.
‘But for as long as he’s wearing the Barca shirt, there is always hope. We hope to seduce him to stay for many more years.’
Barcelona interim president Carles Tusquets said he would have sold Messi in the summer
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