Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has come out to reveal that he could not allow Lionel Messi to leave the club amidst the transfer saga
After Barcelona’s humiliating Champions League exit to Bayern, star-man Lionel Messi handed in a transfer request to the club and became subject to heavy transfer speculations linking him with a move away from the Nou Camp.
The Spanish giants quickly relieved Quique Setien of his head coach duties and appointed club legend Ronald Koeman, however, according to Catalan radio RAC1, Messi has reportedly told Ronald Koeman he has serious doubts about staying at Barcelona.
After being heavily linked with an emotional reunion with former coach Pep Guardiola, Messi ultimately decided to stay at Camp Nou this season before stating that club president Josep Bartomeu broke his words by not allowing him to leave as promised.
Bartomeu has now come out to reveal that he couldn’t allow their best player to leave under his watch while hoping Messi can play a key for newly-appointed Ronald Koeman.
Speaking to Catalan television network TV3, the Barcelona president said: “I won’t get into any conflict with him. He’s our captain and the leader of our team.
“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 his decision to stay at Barcelona, Koeman’s side has now won three straight games in pre-season, with Messi scoring twice in their 3-0 friendly win against Girona.