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13-Nov-2020, 03:19 pm

Barcelona elections set for January 24 to leave just one week to sort transfers - and Messi may already be out the door

Lionel Messi, Barcelona, Champions League 2020-21

The election to select Barcelona's new club president will take place on January 24, leaving little time to negotiate transfer deals and with Lionel Messi potentially having already agreed an exit.

The vote will take place on a Sunday and, with Barcelona scheduled to play away to Elche in La Liga that weekend, there will be no potential disruption caused byfootball being played at Camp Nou.

While the opportunity to move on from the Bartomeu era will likely be welcomed by Barca supporters, it will leave whoever emerges victorious in the presidential vote with a race against time.

The January transfer window will shut just one week after the vote is due to take place, withtransfers needing to be finalised in quick time.

As reported by Goal, Barca will have to sell before they can buy, with the Blaugrana keen on the likes of Lyon winger Memphis Depay and Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum.

Even more worrying is the Lionel Messisituation. The Argentine superstar's Barca contract expires at the end of the season, meaning he will be able to negotiate a free transfer with clubs outside of Spain from January 1 onwards.

Messi asked to leave Barcelona last summer, unhappy with Bartomeu's presidency and the recent results of the first team, culminating in their 8-2 Champions League quarter-final humiliation at Camp Nou at the hands of Bayern Munich.

The Argentineeventually revealed exclusively to Goal that he had agreed to stay for the 2020-21 season, but it remains to be seen if he will seek an exit again when January arrives.

Indeed, Messi will haveat least 24 days before the election to be able tospeak to any potential non-Spanish suitors. Manchester City have long been admirers of the 33-year-old, while Inter has also been heavily linked with a move.

Victor Font,former presidentJoan Laporta, Jordi Farre,ToniFreixaandLluis Fernandezhave all stepped forward as presidential election candidates .

Font has signalled his intention to bring club legends such as Xavi back for involvement with first-team coaching, while Freixa has given his public backing to current manager Ronald Koeman.

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