Sport 'I couldn't let Messi leave Barcelona' - Bartomeu opens up on transfer saga
Aeroplane turbulence and physicality fears - Lionel Messi's first Barcelona training session 20 years on
Lionel Messi trained with Barcelona for the first time 20 years ago. It's been some ride since then for the Argentina great.Grim predictions of global chaos did not come to fruition as the human race survived Y2K and the threat of the "millennium bug".
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has declared he could not allow Lionel Messi to leave the club and suggested congratulations were in order following the star's decision to stay put.
but Barca refused to allow the Argentine to leave for free with a contractual dispute brewing.
In an exclusive interview with Goal,but did hit out at Bartomeu for breaking his work and not allowing him to leave as promised.
Lionel Messi could miss El Clasico if selected for Argentina games
Ronald Koeman could be without his star man Lionel Messi for three games, including El Clasico against Real Madrid, if the Argentine goes off on international duty next month. Argentina's World Cup 2022 qualifying fixtures have been confirmed, with matches against Ecuador on October 8, and Bolivia on October 13.Under the current regulations in Spain, anyone returning from South America is required to quarantine for 14 days, meaning Messi won't be able to play in La Liga matches during that time period.
The under-fire club boss, however, believes he simply couldn't allow their best player to leave and is hopeful Messi can still prove the difference for Ronald Koeman's side moving forward.
“I won’t get into any conflict with him. He’s our captain and the leader of our team,” Bartomeu told Catalan television network TV3.
“I couldn’t let him leave the club, he is the best player of all time and the team needs him. Having Messi is a guarantee of success.
“We have seen him do his talking on the pitch and we have moved on from the saga. We should congratulate ourselves for getting Messi to stay with us and for how he has behaved in the last few days. The best player in the world should stay at our home."
Since opting to remain at Barcelona, Messi has shown positive signs and.
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Koeman's side have won three straight games in pre-season and while things are running somewhat smoothly on the pitch, Bartomeu is facing a crisis off it.
An official board decision on Bartomeu's immediate future is expected within the next two weeks but the president remains focused on the job at the hand for now.
"The board and I will keep working to ensure we have the most competitive team possible," he said.
"We will speak again after validating the votes but right now no-one wants to quit. The club won’t stop and we will keep working, we have lots of issues to sort out."
Barcelona 'prioritise Memphis Depay signing' in the coming weeks .
As reported by Mundo Deportivo , Depay is an attainable target for Barcelona as he is within their current salary budget. Ronald Koeman had considered a move for Alexander Isak.As reported by Mundo Deportivo, Depay is an attainable target for Barcelona as he is within their current salary budget.