Josep Maria Bartomeu’s popularity as Barcelona’s president is currently at an all-time low.
The Spanish entrepreneur, who replaced Sandro Rosell at Camp Nou in January 2014, is poised to become the president responsible for the departure of club legend Lionel Messi.
Messi doesn’t believe in Bartomeu’s project in the aftermath of the 2019-20 season.
As well as suffering *that* humiliating 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals, Barça also finished five points behind fierce rivals Real Madrid in La Liga.
Bartomeu has now offered to resign if it means Messi reverses his decision to leave Camp Nou, according to reports from Spain.
But Messi reportedly has no desire to perform a U-turn and remains determined to leave his beloved Barça because of the way things have slowly crumbled under Bartomeu.
And there’s every chance that Messi will be even more determined to leave when he hears the latest reports involving Bartomeu in Spanish newspaper Marca on Friday.
It’s claimed that Bartomeu offered Antoine Griezmann back to Atletico Madrid just days before Barça’s 8-2 loss at the hands of Bayern on August 14.
He didn’t want cash. He wanted one of Atletico’s players.
To be specific, he wanted Joao Felix, the 20-year-old forward who joined Atleti in a £113 million deal from Benfica the previous summer.
Atletico, Marca add, weren’t interested in the offer and batted away Bartomeu’s suggestion.
“It's just another example of the chaotic and erratic management that Bartomeu has shown in charge of the club, and again showed that managing money is his priority,” Marca’s Carlos Carpio writes.
“Griezmann received 21 million euros as his salary, though that figure is just 18 million euros for his first two seasons, whereas Joao earns just 3.5 million euros net a year.”
Miguel Angel Gil Marin, Atleti’s CEO, is reportedly interested in bringing Griezmann back to the Wanda Metropolitano but the Madrid-based club must first make room on the wage bill by offloading the likes of Thomas Lemar and Diego Costa.
Griezmann came off the bench as a second-half substitute against Bayern but failed to make an impact.
But while the Frenchman has flattered to deceive during his debut campaign with the Catalan club, he looks set to play a key role under new head coach Ronald Koeman, who will hand the World Cup winner the club’s No. 7 shirt.
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