Departure of Barcelona star to Man City seen as 'inevitable' by the board

Powerful figures at the Spanish club want to persuade president Bartomeu to let Messi go, according to reports.
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An increasing number of Barcelona's board and senior figures believe that the club should look for the most amicable divorce possible between their team and their greatest ever player, according to journalist Alfredo Martínez.

Previous reports have suggested that Barcelona president Josep María Bartomeu would point-blank refuse to sell Messi this summer under any circumstances. However, Martínez states that many powerful figures at the club believe Messi's departure is "inevitable" and are trying to convince Bartomeu to look for a peaceful solution. 

Messi's father, Jorge, is expected in Barcelona by Wednesday - or Thursday at the latest - to meet with Bartomeu and negotiate the best deal for Messi to leave the club. The frontrunners to sign the Argentine legend still appear to be Manchester City, who have reportedly already been in contact with the player. 

Although reports claim that Messi already considers himself a free agent after activating a controversial clause in his contract, which expires next year, Barcelona have a different interpretation and do not believe that Messi is entitled to walk away on a free transfer. As such, any club who signs Messi risks facing a hefty penalty should Barcelona challenge them in court and win. 

Due to the expiration of Messi's current contract next summer, it is seen as likely that the club will seek the best possible fee for any departure this year to avoid losing him for nothing. 

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