Barcelona trying to convince Messi to stay, insists sporting director Planes

Barcelona captain Lionel Messi
Barcelona captain Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi has told Barcelona he wants to leave, but sporting director Ramon Planes says the club has not given up yet.

Barcelona are still trying to convince Lionel Messi to stay at the club and expect him to attend training when sessions resume, according to sporting director Ramon Planes.

Messi rocked Barcelona on Tuesday when it emerged the six-time Ballon d’Or winner informed the club he would like to leave.

The 33-year-old reportedly intends to activate a clause in his contract that would allow him to unilaterally terminate their agreement following the 2019-20 season and join another club.

While it was required to be activated before the end of May, Messi told the club he still intends to make use of it as the season was extended into August due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Planes, promoted to his role following Eric Abidal’s dismissal last week, says Barca have not given up hope of continuing their association with Messi.