Messi cuts holiday short to inform Koeman of serious Barcelona exit plan

Lionel Messi TEAMtalk

Lionel Messi has cut his post-season holiday short to hold showdown talks with new Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman, according to a report.

Barcelona are at crisis point after their 8-2 Champions League exit to Bayern Munich last Friday. That result marked the third time in three seasons a team has spectacularly dumped them out of the competition.

What’s more, a poor showing in LaLiga also contributed to Quique Setien getting the sack, with Koeman brought in and facing a serious rebuild job.

Another important part Koeman’s new role, however, is navigating Messi’s future. The Argentine has entered the final year of his latest contract but, unlike in previous years, there are serious doubts about whether he will stay.

According to RAC1 (via the Daily Mail), Messi has told Koeman that he sees himself “more in than out” at Barcelona.

What’s more, he has reportedly expressed his lack of faith in club president Josep Maria Bartomeu. Messi has clashed with Bartomeu, as well as other senior Barca figures, this year.

Indeed, Messi hit out at now-sacked sporting director Eric Abidal. Abidal had suggested that the players lacked commitment under Setien’s predecessor, Ernesto Valverde.

Lionel Messi Barcelona TEAMtalk

Reports suggest Messi has a clause in his contract allowing him to leave for free at the end of any campaign. The deal, however, also contains a release clause of €700million (£630million).

As for where he could turn if he does leave Barcelona, Manchester City are allegedly keen. Speculation last Sunday claimed City are willing to pay whatever it takes to land Messi.

Speaking on Wednesday, Koeman offered little in the way of a convincing message over the forward’s future.

The manager said: “He is a Barcelona player. He has another year. I don’t know if I have to convince him to stay.”



Meanwhile, another Barcelona player whose future is uncertain is Philippe Coutinho.

The Brazilian midfielder remains on loan at Bayern Munich but he will return to Spain after Sunday’s Champions League final.

From there, however, it remains unclear if he has a future under Koeman.

Read his latest comments on his future here…