The majority of the Barcelona squad are yet to speak out about Lionel Messi as the Argentinean star’s future continues to dominate the headlines.
Most of the senior team returned to training this week after completing their coronavirus testing on Sunday, yet all the attention continues to focus on the absence of their talismanic figure, who has not been present for either event.
Most of the players have been conspicuous in their silence, with Messi’s close friends such as Sergio Busquets and Gerard Pique choosing not to comment on the speculation.
His strike partner Luis Suarez, who is also being linked with a move, did appear to show his support for the 33-year-old, however, by posting two applause emojis in response to Carles Puyol’s tweet last week which read: “Respect and admiration for you, Leo. You have all my support, my friend.”
Midfielder Arturo Vidal also made reference to Messi when he aimed a thinly-veiled dig at the powers that be at the Nou Camp during a recent interview with journalist Daniel Habif.
“The last three years are not what a team like Barcelona deserves,” he said.
“The best team in the world cannot have 13 professional players. You cannot always win with DNA. Messi is the best in the world, an extraterrestrial, but he needs help so that better results can be achieved.
“I am in a situation of being thrown away to see if someone wants to receive me.”
Sign up for the brilliant new Mirror Football newsletter!
From the latest transfer news to the agenda-setting stories, get it all in your email inbox.
Put your email at the top of this article or follow the instructions on this link.
Other than those two players, however, most seem to be holding their tongue, and perhaps waiting to see how the situation develops before making comment.
Messi’s father Jorge is expected to meet with the Barca hierarchy later this week to discuss his son’s future, and it is hoped an agreement can be reached before things become really ugly.
Manchester City are currently the club seemingly most hopeful of signing the player, with their sporting director Txiki Begiristain allegedly in Barcelona trying to thrash out a deal in what would be a truly extraordinary transfer.