Lionel Messi's father arrives in Barcelona for crunch talks with La Liga club

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3 years ago

Lionel's father and agent Jorge Messi set to meet Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu for second day to resolve impasse over contract situation

Lionel Messi's representatives are to hold a second day of discussions with Barcelona over his potential move away from the Nou Camp

Crunch talks over Lionel Messi's future at Barcelona are expected to resume on Thursday after his father and agent flew in from Argentina on Wednesday.

Jorge Messi boarded a private jet taking him from Rosario to Barcelona and landed in the private terminal of the El Prat airport at around 6.45am on Wednesday morning.

On Wednesday morning, Jorge Messi conceded it is "difficult" his son will stay at Barcelona when asked by Spanish television programme El Chiringuito as he arrived at the Fundacion Leo Messi for talks.

However, he said that "there is nothing yet" in terms of a possible move to Manchester City and that he had not spoken to Pep Guardiola.

Messi senior was due to meet Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu and the rest of the Barcelona board to resolve the impasse between player and club over the forward's contract situation.

Lionel Messi's father and agent Jorge was greeted by a crowd of reporters and camera crews after leaving a Barcelona restaurant on Wednesday.

Talks were described as 'exploratory' and not much progress has been made, with a new face-to-face meeting with the board expected to take place on Thursday.

Jorge Messi later visited a local restaurant for lunch and was greeted by a media scrum.

Messi no longer considers himself a Barcelona player and did not turn up to the club's Covid-19 testing on Sunday and subsequent start of training sessions on Monday.

The 33-year-old, who has played for the Spanish team for almost 20 years, informed the club last week he wants to leave.

Jorge Messi arrives at Barcelona-El Prat airport on a private jet

What power does Messi snr have?

South American football expert Tim Vickery:

"He's a little bit like his son in that he is difficult to read, he's not someone I'd like to play poker against. But I think the main power here is with Lionel.

"It is Lionel who is 33 - who unfortunately for us all is closer to the end than the beginning of his career - and it is Lionel who really wants to spend the last few years of his top-class career in an environment where he feels respected by the people that run the club he is playing for.

"He wants to feel he is in a competitive environment where he can have a chance of winning the Champions League so I think the power is not with the did, it's with the son."

Spanish football expert Tim Vickery believes Barcelona are growing increasingly desperate over the Messi situation

Insight: Barca boardroom torn ahead of talks

Sky Sports News' Gary Cotterill in Barcelona:

These talks between Barcelona and Lionel Messi will take place on Wednesday and Thursday. Lionel Messi's father, Jorge, has now arrived in the country and will be leading these talks as far as the Messi camp is concerned.

The Barcelona side cannot even agree with each other. There is the president's side, who on one hand say Messi has this valid contract and is not going anywhere for less than the asking price - we are not going to do any deals.

The other side of the boardroom feel like that is unrealistic - we are in a financial hole, he could leave anyway in a year's time and meanwhile hang around not wanting to be here.

There's going to have to be a lot of talking and I think that's going to take longer than two days.

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