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Barcelona Staff Were 'Upset' At Lionel Messi's Decision To Stay

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Barcelona Staff Were 'Upset' At Lionel Messi's Decision To Stay

Lionel Messi's decision to stay at Barcelona left club staff 'upset' because they feared more cuts to jobs behind the scenes.

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In the summer Messi decided he wanted to leave Barca, after 19 years at the club, following their 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

The six time Ballon d'Or winner believed the club would allow him to leave for free because of a contract in his clause but the Covid-19 crisis had delayed the season so that clause wasn't technically available.

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Messi decided against taking the club to court to force a move, due to his love of the Catalan side, and decided he would stay.

Whilst that news might have delighted Barca fans, it's been revealed by Four Four Two that inside the club it left people 'upset.'

"We were upset when Messi decided to stay," one source who works in the club's offices told the magazine.

"Everyone was. We knew there would be more cuts and there were, simply to pay Leo's wages.

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"I love him and what he has done for our club and for football, but I love my family and having a job more."

Messi wanted to leave in the summer. Image: PA Images
Messi wanted to leave in the summer. Image: PA Images

The club is reportedly in some financial trouble, not helped by Coronavirus denying them full stands in the past eight months, and the club need to free up £171 million by January.

Players were asked to take huge pay cuts when the crisis first struck and have been asked once again this season to do the same.

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In the summer high earners Luis Suarez, Arturo Vidal and Ivan Rakitic all left the Nou Camp to get some money off the wage bill but Messi leaving would have saved huge sums.

The 33-year-old reportedly earns £500,000-a-week, or £26 million-a-year, which would have really helped the club with their current issues.

Messi could be reunited with Guardiola. Image: PA Images
Messi could be reunited with Guardiola. Image: PA Images

Messi's deal does finish at the end of this season and, whilst Josep Maria Bartomeu's departure is a positive, it's expected he won't sign a new deal.

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That means that Manchester City, who were favourites for his signature in the summer, could sign him for nothing next summer, and reunite him with Pep Guardiola.

The Premier League side could officially get him to sign a pre-contract agreement in January, though according to reports he wants Guardiola and Sergio Aguero to confirm their future's first.

Spanish coach Manolo Marquez told Four Four Two that he thinks Messi and Guardiola have already spoken, saying, "I've no doubt that he spoke to Guardiola, the best manager he's ever played under - but he has a contract, and a contract is a contract."

Do you think Messi will go to City next summer? Let us know in the comments.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Ryan Sidle
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