Lionel Messi has agreed to stay at Barcelona for one more year despite handing in a transfer request at the club, the player’s father has confirmed to Spanish media.
Messi sparked the biggest transfer saga of the summer by handing in a transfer request at the Nou Camp last week, informing Barca chiefs of his desire to leave via burofax.
The Argentinian superstar is understood to be seeking a new challenge after 16 years in Catalonia, with Manchester City leading the race for his signature.
Yet according to Italian journalist Tancredi Palmeri, Messi has agreed to stay for one last year at Barca despite his intention to leave.
The player’s father and agent Jorge has been holding talks with club president Josep Maria Bartomeu, who remains adamant that Messi still has a year remaining on his current contract.
And with a £623million release clause inserted in that contract, it is highly unlikely a potential suitor would be able to afford him.
Messi has therefore agreed to stay put in Barcelona for another year, according to Palmeri.
He posted on Twitter: BOOM! Jorge Messi saying to [Spanish outlet] Deportes Cuatro “yes” to question of staying one last year at Barcelona”.
It is believed Jorge had argued that his son should be allowed to leave due to a clause in his contract which allows him to depart for free at the end of the 2019/20 campaign.
The Argentine shocked the football world by handing in a transfer request to end his 20-year association with Barca, believed to be the culmination of several years of frustration with the club’s hierarchy.
With his mind made up, Messi believes he should be able to activate a contractual clause that would allow him to terminate his current deal and leave for free.
But Barca argues Messi missed the May 31 deadline to activate the clause and clubs must now meet his 700 million euros release clause.
However, a report in the Telegraph has claimed the Catalan giants could be willing to compromise and would instead be willing to accept 100 million euros to sell their superstar.
Messi’s father and agent, Jorge, met with Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu on Wednesdays to resolve the issue.
Jorge told reporters upon arrival in Barcelona that it would be ‘difficult’ for his son to remain the Camp Nou.
Manchester City, PSG, and Inter Milan have all been linked with the 33-year-old.