‘The best player in history does not leave with a burofax’: Lionel Messi is urged to reconsider his Barcelona exit by former club vice-president Jordi Mestre… but he admits legendary forward deserves a ‘dignified’ goodbye
- Lionel Messi told Barcelona he wants to leave the club via a burofax last week
- Former vice-president Jordi Mestre wants the forward to stay at the Nou Camp
- Mestre also admits that Messi deserves a ‘dignified’ exit from the Spanish giants
- The star has refused to return for pre-season training under boss Ronald Koeman
Messi sent shockwaves through football last week when he sent Barca a burofax – a court-recognised service provided by Spain‘s postal service – to inform the club that he no longer wanted to play for them and considered himself a free agent.
The Spanish giants and LaLiga both insist that Messi’s £630million release clause remains intact despite Messi’s claims, but Mestre hopes the two parties can sort out their differences and avoid a parting of ways this summer.
Lionel Messi rocked football by telling Barcelona he wants to leave the club this summer
Former Barca vice-president Jordi Mestre wants to see Messi and the club sort out their issues
‘What I can say is that I hope they reconsider, sit down and find solutions,’ he told Spanish radio station Cadena Ser.
‘When lawyers and burofax come into it, it becomes too complicated. The exit would have to be very dignified and one Leo deserves. The best player in history does not leave with a burofax.’
City were hopeful of landing Messi for nothing but that now appears unlikely, despite the Argentine refusing to return for the club for pre-season training.
Mestre, who resigned from his role as vice-president last year, has backed up Barca and LaLiga’s stance when it comes to the clause in Messi’s contract which would have allowed him to leave for free, insisting that it expired back in June despite the season being delayed.
Ronald Koeman took his first training session as the new manager of Barcelona on Monday
Messi is interested in joining Manchester City and reuniting with former boss Pep Guardiola
‘I am very surprised that there is a clause of this type,’ he added. ‘It sounds strange to me. The contract was from 2016 to 2021, his last year and by not saying anything before June 10 it is extended,’ he said.
‘Contractually, the decision is Barca’s. The club and La Liga say so. Messi had to say before June 10 if he did not want to exercise it.’
However, despite wanting Messi to remain at the Nou Camp, Mestre admitted that the club’s greatest players should be allowed to decide when they depart.
He added: ‘There are club legends such as Xavi, Iniesta or Puyol and for all that they have contributed they have the right to decide when they leave the club or the end of their contract is reached.’