Lionel Messi transfer request: Furious Barcelona fans protest against president Bartomeu outside Nou Camp

FURIOUS Barcelona took to the streets outside the Nou Camp to demand the club keep Lionel Messi.

Angry supporters congregated at the club's stadium and protested against president Josep Maria Bartomeu, demanding his resignation.

It is understood the board will meet imminently with some colleagues calling for Bartomeu to quit from his position – and all on Messi's side may get their wish with reports that the president will indeed step down.

Board members Jordi Moix, the economics and assets vice president, and treasurer David Bellver have already allegedly offered their resignation.

Messi told the directors he has decided he is going to quit after a major fallout – with their treatment of Luis Suarez though to be the final straw.

Ex-Liverpool star Suarez, 33, has reportedly been told by Koeman he will be sold this summer and Messi, one of his best mates, is thought to be fuming and wants out.

Former Nou Camp and Spain skipper Carles Puyol, 42, who was Messi's club-mate for nine years, publicised his allegiance: "Respect and admiration, Leo. All my support, friend."

Striker Suarez, 33, responded with two emojis of clapping hands.

But Barcelona fans are understandably desperate for the Argentine to stay.

So they made their feelings known by directing obscene gestures – aimed for Bartomeu – at the stadium as well as holding up 'Messi 10' replica shirts in support of their beloved hero.


Some chanted: "Bartomeu, dimissió," meaning, "Bartomeu, dismissed."

Others sang: "Please Messi don't leave, we all love you here," to the captain who joined La Masia aged 13 and has scored 634 goals for their team.

The hashtag "#MessiSiBartoNo" – literally meaning "Messi yes, Barto no" – is trending.

Marca claims the Argentine does not want to continue under new boss Ronald Koeman following Barcelona's embarrassing 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

And Guillem Balague adds Messi has a “clause that he had agreed in his last contract by which he can go for free”.

He says Barcelona believe the clause expired at the end of June, meaning Messi's £630million buyout fee stands, but the superstar is convinced it is still active until the end of August due to the coronavirus crisis.

Barcelona legend Messi, 33, has been tipped to move on after entering the final year of his contract.

Manchester City are believed to be keen on the Argentine forward and there is strong interest from Inter Milan as well. Ladbrokes have City as 5/2 favourites, with Inter at 3/1, Manchester United at 6/1 and PSG at 7/1.

Messi reportedly held crunch talks with Koeman just one day after the Dutchman replaced Quique Setien.

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner informed his new gaffer that he plans on leaving the Nou Camp for a new adventure.

And it’s now claimed the forward has confirmed his wishes to club chiefs ahead of the new LaLiga season.

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