It follows multiple reports from Spain on Thursday that Bartomeu would resign if Messi publicly confirms that, in those circumstances, he would be willing to stay.
Indeed, Catalan radio station RAC1 say that Bartomeu’s specific demand is that the Argentine states that Bartomeu is his only issue at the club, and he would therefore be willing to stay on at the Camp Nou if the supremo leaves his position.
📌Bartomeu es planteja dimitir amb una condició: que Leo Messi afirmi públicament que el problema de la seva continuïtat al Barça és, precisament, el president @FCBRAC1 @EsportsRAC1 #frac1 https://t.co/ZBfLJuBFBH
— RAC1 (@rac1) August 27, 2020
The besieged club president is serving his final term of presidency and has confirmed elections for March 2021, but many supporters believe the time is now for him to exit the club and indeed groups of fans surrounded the Camp Nou on Tuesday and chanted for his resignation.
Those protests continued into Wednesday, but it coincided with reports that Messi’s decision was final and would not be influenced by Bartomeu’s future.
It is suggested that Bartomeu’s offer is a political powerplay – if Messi refuses, he can stay on in his position and alleviate the pressure on him, as he can argue that he made the offer and it demonstrates that the star player’s issue is not specifically with him.
However, if Messi accepts the offer, it means the 33-year-old has backed down from his previous claims of leaving the club and would also mean that an interim president would be ushered in without elections – perhaps seen as a continuity candidate of the board.
Messi has won a record six Ballon d’Or awards during his spell at the Camp Nou, where he has spent the entirety of his professional career and firmly established himself as one of the greatest footballers ever to play the sport.
Messi has scored a scarcely believable 634 goals in 731 official appearances for Barcelona, but his time at the club now appears to be up and he is hopeful of becoming a free agent.