Barcelona presidential hopeful Victor Font says it seems unlikely Lionel Messi will change his mind about leaving the club.
Speaking exclusively to Sky Sports, Font – the man who hopes to take over from current president Josep Bartomeu – stated his belief while there is hope, the likely outcome is that the player will leave.
Messi now considers himself to be ‘on strike’ and Barcelona have fined him for failing to report for training on Monday and Tuesday, as the Argentine no longer considers himself a part of Ronald Koeman’s squad.
Font says the player’s exit must now be made “as smooth as possible” and that he hopes Messi will return to the club for a role in the future.
When asked if Messi would stay at Barcelona, Font said: “That’s the hope, right? Until it’s over there is always hope. And therefore I really hope the decision can be changed.
“It doesn’t seem likely, though, and therefore if that’s the case, the focus should be on making the transition as smooth as possible.
“And the ties between Messi and Barcelona that go very deep, remain there, so we can ensure somehow, the relationship continues in the future.”