PAPA DON’T PREACH Lionel Messi’s future still up in air after dad’s talks with Barcelona chief end in stalemate

Messi’s father Jorge, who is also his agent, flew in for a crisis meeting with Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

PAPA DON'T PREACH Lionel Messi’s future still up in air after dad’s talks with Barcelona chief end in stalemate

Lionel Messi’s father Jorge held crunch talks with Barcelona on Wednesday Credit: EPA

Talks lasted 90 minutes and the two sides are still poles apart.

It came as the Spanish giants launched pictures of the forward fronting their kit commercial.

The Argentine, 33, wants to join Manchester City and Messi Sr yesterday claimed: “It is difficult for Leo to stay.”

Messi  no longer considers himself a Barcelona player after faxing a transfer request last month.

But the Nou Camp club insist he is still under contract and on strike after refusing to  train.

A £623million buyout clause in his   contract is a huge stumbling block to any move.

And Jorge swerved questions about the Etihad, only saying: “I don’t know anything about City. I have not spoken with Pep Guardiola.”

City star Joao Cancelo, 26, is adamant Messi would have “a great season” if he moves to the Etihad.

The full-back said: “He’s a great player. In a team like Manchester City,  also with great players on his side, he’d have a great season.”

Bartomeu knows his future as Barca president is at stake, with elections next year.

His biggest rival Victor Font  told talkSPORT: “Messi wants to win more Champions Leagues and Manchester City and Pep are top candidates.

“The damage this is doing to  Barcelona is quite phenomenal.

“The two parties need to sit down  to ensure whatever transition needs to happen is smooth, and we can protect the ties between Messi and Barcelona, which are deep.”

PAPA DON'T PREACH Lionel Messi’s future still up in air after dad’s talks with Barcelona chief end in stalemate

President Josep Bartomeu’s talks with Jorge Messi ended in a stalemate Credit: Reuters

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