Lionel Messi is reportedly ‘furious’ that details of his meeting with new Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman have been leaked as the Argentine superstar’s rift with the LaLiga club shows no sign of easing.
Messi interrupted his holiday to return to Barcelona on Thursday to speak face to face with the club’s new coach, who was appointed this week following the dismissal of Quique Setien.
Following Thursday’s meeting, reports emerged from radio station RAC1 that Messi told Koeman that he was more ‘outside the club than inside’ and that he had little faith in president Josep Bartomeu to steady the ship.
And according to Clarin via Marca, Messi is furious that details have emerged from his private meeting with Koeman.
Moreover, the 33-year-old is said to be angered not because he feels what has been reported is a misrepresentation of the meeting, but that the radio station is known to be openly in support of Bartomeu’s administration.
It serves to highlight the growing tension between Messi and the club’s hierarchy, with the star attacker rumoured to believe that the board are trying to portray him as a bad guy to force him out of the club.
Despite Messi’s apparent unrest his contract situation remains a huge barrier to him leaving.
He has one year left and so is still tied to a £630million (€700m) release clause.
‘He is a Barcelona player. He has another year. I don’t know if I have to convince him to stay,’ said Koeman on Wednesday.
The Dutch coach also made it clear he only wanted players who wanted to be at the club.
Bartomeu, who will stand down as President at the end of next season, has always insisted Messi would retire at the club.
He will not want his already tainted legacy to include having forced the club’s all-time greatest player out.