Barcelona insisted that they had not heard from their striker, Lionel Messi that he wanted to leave the club, as there was an emergency committee meeting at Camp Nou on Monday.
Barca’s officials, including the under-fire President Josep Maria Bartomeu, were to discuss extensive changes after the humiliating 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals of the Champions League on Friday.
A Sunday’s Esporte Interativo report even claimed that Messi had decided to leave this summer, although a Barcelona source told AFP shortly before the board meeting that no communication had yet been made with the club on the matter.
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Messi’s frustration will be one of the issues to be discussed along with the future of coach Quique Setien, who is expected to be dismissed.
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Ronald Koeman emerged as the favourite to replace Setien on Monday, having concerns about the suitability of Mauricio Pochettino, who had previously said he would never coach Barcelona due to his links with rivals Espanyol.
Another option is Barca B coach Garcia Pimienta, who could oversee a greater emphasis on youth before a longer-term appointment follows next year’s presidential election.
Former Barca midfielder Xavi Hernandez would be the preferred option for Messi and other older players, but Xavi has recently signed a new contract with Qatar club Al-Sadd and is opposed to working under the current board.
Another possible outcome of Monday’s meeting is that the club’s presidential elections, which are due to take place in June 2021, will be brought forward, although it is more likely that they will be held earlier next year than in the coming months.
Sports director Eric Abidal will also discuss his future and could be continued.
Defender Gerard Pique called for comprehensive changes after calling the heavy defeat against the Bavarians, Barca’s worst defeat in Europe, a “low point”.
But Bartomeu asked for patience. “We are hurt, but as soon as we are next week, we will make decisions,” he told Movistar television.
“A coach’s credibility is clearly diminishing in this case. It’s obvious, but I don’t mind that at the moment.
“I think what is happening today needs to be analysed with a little more perspective,” he added.
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Reference: Yahoo Sports