Barcelona wants face-to-face meeting to change Messis mind
(Rafael Marchante/Pool via AP)Barcelona is banking on a face-to-face meeting with Lionel Messi to try to convince him to stay. Talks with Messis father, who is also his agent, are expected this week in Barcelona, but the club also hopes to sit down with the player himself. Barcelona and Messi have yet to talk directly since the Argentine said last week that he wanted to leave the club. The humiliating defeat on Aug. 14 capped a complicated season for Barcelona, the first without a title since 2007-08. Barcelona reiterated its stance that it wants Messi to remain with the club and that it is not planning to negotiate his transfer.
Messi skips required coronavirus testing with Barcelona
Lionel Messi has told Barcelona he wants to leave the club after nearly two decades with the Spanish giants. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez, File)MADRID In another sign that Lionel Messis time with Barcelona is coming to an end, the player did not report for required coronavirus testing scheduled for the whole squad on Sunday. Barcelona said Messi was the only player who did not undergo the tests at the clubs training center. Messi last week expressed his desire to leave the club, but Barcelona wants him to play out the contract that ends in June 2021. The 33-year-old Messi had been outspoken about the club's poor decisions this season, its first without a trophy since 2007-08.
Messi's departure jeopardizes Barcelonas restructuring plan
Barcelona's Lionel Messi during the Champions League quarterfinal match between FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich at the Luz stadium in Lisbon, Portugal, Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez/Pool)MADRID Lionel Messis surprise decision to leave Barcelona has dealt a blow to the clubs restructuring project even before it began. What might have upset him the most was the decision to get rid of Luis Surez, Messis longtime teammate and friend. With its aging team, Barcelona endured one of its toughest seasons, the first without a title since 2007-08. A lengthy legal batter would further hurt Barcelonas restructuring project, as would Messis departure without any financial compensation.
Barca may need youth to get past Napoli, reach CL final 8
Barcelona will be without midfielders Sergio Busquets, Arturo Vidal and Arthur for Saturdays second leg of their round-of-16 tie. The match will be played five months after the Spanish side earned a 1-1 draw at Napoli before the pandemic brought most sports to a halt. Both Rique and Ansu are ready to play, Setin said Friday. Fati, 17, made a huge splash this season by becoming the youngest player to score in the Spanish league and the Champions League, among other precocious scoring milestones. With only 13 first-team players available, Setin has called up seven members of Barcelonas youth squad, including American Konrad de la Fuente.