Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has expressed his willingness to sacrifice his position and resign if Lionel Messi makes a public promise to stay at the club.
Mr. Bartomeu assured that he is willing to bow to the demands of the teeming fans of the club and walk away from the Nou Camp – if it keeps Messi at the club.
Bartomeu is entitled to stay at the club for one more year when the new presidential elections take place.
But, seemingly with Barcelona’s best interests at heart, Bartomeu has reportedly said he will quit if Messi promises to stay, according to TV3.
On Wednesday night, angry fans broke through the Nou Camp gates as protests against Bartomeu continued into a second night.
Messi, aged 33, has spent 20 years at Barcelona, scoring a record 634 goals revealed his desire to quit earlier this week after a horror season at Barca – and his threat to quit stunned the world.
The Argentine was reported to have said he could be tempted to stay at the Nou Camp if Bartomeu resigns from his post.
Earlier this week, Messi asked to exploit a clause in his deal to let him leave for nothing this summer.
On paper, Messi needed to make the admission before June 10.
But his representatives believe it should be extended until the end of August because of the coronavirus pandemic that delayed the season.
Barcelona is adamant the clause has expired and will only let him leave if a club matches his £630million release clause.
It could now lead to a bitter legal battle much like Neymar’s row with Barca following his £198m move to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017.
Man City have emerged as favourites to beat PSG and Inter Milan to his signature but all is likely to depend on Messi’s contract debacle at Barca.
Messi’s current package at the Nou Camp, in basic wages, bonuses and image rights, is worth around £100m a year.
City are not prepared to release such a fee but are ready to offer him a lucrative wage should Messi become available for nothing.