Barcelona is on the verge of saying a brand new coach, and it might have a brand new president subsequent yr.
The membership can be promising “wide-ranging” and “profound” structural adjustments after one in all its most humiliating defeats ever — the 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich within the quarterfinals of the Champions League on Friday.
The one massive query that is still is whether or not will probably be in a position to hold Lionel Messi.
The staff’s greatest star for greater than a decade has a contract with Barcelona till 2021, however he hasn’t been hiding his dissatisfaction with the membership.
“I haven’t spoken with Messi however I talked to his father,” Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu advised Barça TV on Tuesday. “Messi is disenchanted and annoyed, similar to everybody else. It was painful however we now have to select ourselves up. It’s what all of us should do.”
Messi has been extra outspoken than ever this season, speaking in regards to the staff’s issues and pointing to poor choices by membership administrators. Though he has by no means actually hinted about leaving, his latest actions have raised doubts about his future.
“Soccer is a sport that comes and goes in a short time in your life, so this subsequent two years, the place he’s nonetheless going to have the ability to affect video games the way in which he does, is he going to need to be doing that not likely competing for the massive titles? I don’t know,” former participant Rio Ferdinand stated.
Spanish media has reported that negotiations to increase Messi’s contract past subsequent June have been on maintain for the reason that issues on the membership escalated. One Brazilian outlet, Esporte Interativo, stated Messi really desires to go away now as an alternative of ready till subsequent yr.
Rumors of golf equipment eager to signal Messi began to floor instantly after the staff’s loss to Bayern, with Pep Guardiola-coached Manchester Metropolis reportedly among the many front-runners.
Many suppose the humiliation towards Bayern might have been the tipping level for the Argentina nice. Messi seemed like he had already given up at halftime, when pictures confirmed him sitting at one finish of the bench wanting down and biting his nails whereas ready to return on the sphere.
Messi and his teammates needed to face livid Barcelona followers who confronted them and criticized the staff on the membership’s coaching heart after the squad returned from Portugal.
Messi has been unusually quiet for the reason that loss in Lisbon and hasn’t made any public statements, not like after the staff misplaced the Spanish league title to Actual Madrid a number of weeks in the past and he got here out to overtly speak to the media.
Earlier this season, Messi criticised Barcelona administrators for a few of their choices. He was particularly upset with sports activities director Éric Abidal after he criticised gamers’ efforts amid a sequence of poor outcomes. Barcelona stated Tuesday that the membership and Abidal had reached a mutual settlement to half methods.
Messi had additionally stated that he didn’t suppose Barcelona would succeed within the Champions League the way in which issues had been on the membership.
The membership can be dealing with a troublesome monetary scenario due to the coronavirus pandemic, which may make it more durable to barter with Messi. Nonetheless, Bacelona president Josep Bartomeu has all the time stated he expects Messi to complete his profession on the membership, and that Messi desires the identical.
The president reiterated that he was assured the playmaker would stay with the membership, particularly with former Dutch participant Ronald Koeman set to turn into the staff’s new coach.
“Messi desires to complete his profession with Barcelona, he has stated it many instances,” Bartomeu stated.
“I spoke with Koeman and he advised me that Messi would be the central piece of his undertaking.”
The results of subsequent yr’s presidential elections will doubtless play an important position in Messi’s determination, and it’ll even be essential whether or not he’s pleased with the work of the staff’s new coach.
The 33-year-old Messi is among the many ageing gamers throughout the squad, together with Gerard Piqué, Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic, Arturo Vidal and Jordi Alba. The kids touted as promising stars embody Ansu Fati and Riqui Puig, although it’s too early to know the way a lot they may be capable to contribute to the primary staff sooner or later.
After the membership introduced “profound adjustments to the primary staff,” many had been questioning what that meant for Messi.
Bartomeu was fast to incorporate Messi among the many gamers not up for transfers on the membership.
“He’s the perfect participant in historical past,” the president stated.