FOREIGN TIT BITS 

We are preparing for life without Lionel Messi, says Bartomeu

Josep Maria Bartomeu, Barcelona president, has said the club’s ongoing transfer action has been in light of the retirement of Lionel Messi.

Bartomeu said the club is looking to the future. Explicitly he said, “I know one day Lionel will say he’s retiring, we have to prepare the club for the future. “We are bringing great young players to the team because we need to continue this era of success. That’s our responsibility,” he added.

A month ago the Catalan club concurred a £65million deal to sign 21-year-old Ajax midfielder Frenkie De Jong for next season, just as teenage defender Jean-Clair Todibo who was added to the squad immediately.

Two Brazilians, Arthur (22) and Malcolm (21) were likewise signed in the late spring, and Bartomeu says adding them have come as a component of a deliberate effort to set up the squad for the day that Messi chooses to leave the club.

The Argentinean, Lionel Messi, still has two years left on the contract he signed with Barca in 2017, with Bartomeu venturing down as club president in 2021 but Bartomeu has consoled fans that his retirement is still “a while away yet.”

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