Messi staying at Barcelona is 'difficult' but no talks yet with Guardiola, says father

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The father of Lionel Messi says it would be "difficult" for the player to stay at Barcelona but that talks with Pep Guardiola have not taken place.

Jorge Messi, who acts as agent for the Argentina star, arrived at the club's offices on Wednesday to hold talks with president Josep Maria Bartomeu over the six-time Ballon d'Or winner's future.

Lionel Messi informed Barca last week that he wants to leave the club and reportedly believes he can move on a free transfer after activating a clause that allowed him to have his contract terminated at the end of the season.

However, LaLiga stated its belief that his deal remains intact, making it clear that any potential suitor will have to negotiate with Barca or pay the forward's €700million ($1.13billion AUD) release clause if they wish to sign him.

Manchester City are considered the favourites to land the 33-year-old, but manager Guardiola is reported to have advised Lionel Messi to stay at the club and see out the final year of his contract.

However, Jorge Messi told El Chiringuito that it will be "difficult" for his son to remain at Camp Nou.

He then said "I don't know anything" when it was put to him that City would be a good destination for Messi.

He also added: "I haven't talked with Pep. Not at all."

Paris Saint-Germain, Inter and Juventus have also been linked with Messi, but any deal for the player could risk incurring Financial Fair Play penalties given the huge cost of his wages added to any transfer fee, which is likely to be at least €100m ($162billion AUD).

Inter sporting director Piero Ausilio told Sky Sport Italia this week that "there is nothing" to rumours of the Nerazzurri's interest, adding: "There is no team that does not want such a player, but the reality is different.

"To date, we have limited resources that we can only improve through the [transfer] market."

Source Omnisport