'I don't know anything, guys': Lionel Messi's father arrives in Barcelona for showdown talks - in pictures

Presidential candidate believes Barca 'unlikely' to change his decision to move

Powered by automated translation

The father of Lionel Messi has touched down in Barcelona ahead of crunch talks over his son's future, telling reporters "I don't know anything, guys".

Jorge Messi, who also acts as his son's agent, landed at Barcelona airport Wednesday morning on a flight from Argentina for a meeting with club president Josep Bartomeu, one of the most important in Barcelona's history.

He is expected to confirm that his superstar son wants to activate a clause in his contract that would allow him to leave for free before the 2020/21 season.

Barcelona presidential candidate Victor Font believes there is little hope of Messi changing his mind about leaving the club.

The club dispute the claim saying the clause expired on June 10 - with La Liga also releasing a statement saying his contract was still valid - but Font is not optimistic about convincing Messi to stay another year.

"I really hope the decision can be changed," Font told Sky Sports. "It doesn't seem likely, though ... if that's the case, the focus should be on making the transition as smooth as possible.

"Messi loves the club and he wants to win, he wants to compete. He has been saying this for many, many years, it's not just been for a few weeks.

"Unfortunately the club has not been able to deliver on the promise of building a competitive team."

Messi, 33, last won the Champions League with Barcelona in 2015 and a 8-2 humiliation at the hands of Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals last month was the final straw for the six-time world player of the year.

Messi, who failed to turn up for pre-season training on Monday, had previously labelled his side "weak" and "inconsistent" after surrendering the league title to rivals Real Madrid.

The club has spent millions on players in the transfer market who have not come good in recent years and transfer strategy is something Font hopes to change if he is elected president.

"Currently you have the president, the chairman of the board and even some directors making decisions about signings, about selling players and that needs to be changed," Font, who hopes to succeed Bartomeu in elections next March, added.

"That's why we've been working on a project and we need people to lead that who come from the world of football."

One player definitely leaving Barca is Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic, who rejoined Europa League holders Sevilla on a four-year contract for an undisclosed fee.

Rakitic enjoyed a trophy-laden six-year spell at Camp Nou during which Barca won four league titles, four Copa del Reys, the Champions League and Fifa Club World Cup.

Spanish media reported the 32-year-old, who had one year left on his contract, was not part of new Barca coach Ronald Koeman's plans for next season.

"Sevilla FC and FC Barcelona have reached an agreement for the transfer of midfielder Ivan Rakitic, who will return to the club for a second spell after his first spell at the club between January 2011 and June 2014," Sevilla said.