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Presidential candidate Toni Freixa: Lionel Messi lacks respect for Barcelona after transfer request

A candidate in the Barcelona presidential race has claimed Lionel Messi lacks respect for the LaLiga giants after his shock transfer request on Tuesday.

Toni Freixa, a former Barcelona director, believes that losing Messi would not be the end of the world due to the way the Barcelona captain has treated the club in this time of crisis 

Messi shocked the world of football by informing the Catalans via fax of his desire to move on after a trophyless season at the Nou Camp. 

The Barcelona’s captain’s bombshell has put intense pressure on current president Josep Maria Bartomeu, who is facing protests from supporters while a vote of no confidence is being lined up against him.

But Freixa, who is a candidate to replace Bartomeu, says the way Messi has gone about his business means he could well be sold. 

He told Radio Marca: ‘I am not overly concerned about Messi leaving because everything has an end. 

‘What is important is that he did it in such an unfortunate way and without respecting the club.’

Messi intends to activate a clause in his contract which would allow him to move to another club for free. However, Barcelona believe that the expiration date for that option expired in June, meaning the Argentinian footballer or his potential new club needs to stump up his £630million release clause. 

This could mean one of the biggest and stories in the history of football could end in a legal dispute between one of the greatest players of all-time and the club he has always represented. 

Freixa says that Messi must pay out his release clause and that the decision on this is final. 

The presidential candidate added: ‘I am surprised and disappointed as a Barcelona man. I am disappointed by what Messi has done. 

‘The contracts are to be fulfilled and what Messi has to do is come with €700m and leave.’

Interest in Messi would be huge if Barcelona cannot convince the Argentinian forward to stay.

Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain appear to be the early front-runners for the superstar who has scored 634 career goals in 731 matches. 

In moving to City, the six-time Ballon D’Or winner would face a reunion with Pep Guardiola – the manager Messi enjoyed great success with earlier in his career. 

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