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Messi Stays at Barca

Lionel Messi will spend at least another season in Barcelona after making a dramatic U-turn on Friday to remain at the club.

Messi shocked the club when he announced recently that he wanted a move- for free. The move sparked a protest by Barcelona supporters who called for the head of President Maria Bartomeu.

The club however insisted that their prized-asset would not be allowed to go for free- but activate the release clause of 624 million pounds.

His father waded in and after a deadlock on Thursday, the ice was broken on Friday as La Liga had to also wade in.

Spain’s top-flight competition said in a statement: “La Liga has responded to the message received from the representatives of the player Leo Messi.

“In its response, La Liga notes that their interpretation of the contract is out of context and far removed from its literal state. La Liga reiterates its statement published on 30 August.”

In the letter sent on Friday, Messi’s father argued that his son’s contract does not specify a date when the option to leave must be exercised, only that it must be done at the end of the campaign.

Recent reports had suggested that Messi was now set to stay in Spain, but Barcelona presidential hopeful Victor Font believes that is unlikely.

“It would be a surprise because it seems his decision is firm,” Font said.

“But, as I’ve always said until it is done there is always hope, so let’s keep hoping this will be the case.”

Manchester City are favourites to sign the six-time Ballon d’Or winner should he leave and Font, who is hoping to take over from current president Josep Bartomeu, believes the chance for him to link up with ex-Barca boss Pep Guardiola is a huge draw for the player.

“What Messi wants is to compete and to win,” he declared.

“I am sure that he knows one of the best coaches he has had is Pep and therefore he trusts that Pep can help him win again.

“Manchester City is one of the strongest squads in Europe these days and I think that the combination of that and Pep’s leadership is probably why Messi is thinking that would be a good option.”

It could be at a huge cost for Barca though. How would they cope with an unwilling Messi this coming season? Or even offer him more money having been paid an outrageous sum weekly already?

Meanwhile, Lius Suarez has agreed to join Italian giants Juventus after he was told to be surplus to requirement at Barcelona.

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