Barcelona unveiled their new signing Francisco Trincao on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after Lionel Messi handed in a transfer request that has sent shock waves through world football.
The 33-year-old has spent the entirety of his senior professional career with the Catalan giants but his time at the club looks set for an acrimonious end.
Messi has been angered by the events of a chaotic season, orchestrated by under-fire president Josep Bartomeu, which culminated in an 8-2 Champions League drubbing at the hands of Bayern Munich a fortnight ago.
The Argentine outlined his intention to quit via fax on Tuesday and is said to already have his heart set on a move to Manchester City and a reunion with his former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola.
While Messi appears to be at one end of his Barcelona career, 20-year-old Trincao is at the other. The Portugal Under-21 international forward signed from Braga and will compete for a spot in Ronald Koeman’s first team squad.
The focus of his unveiling press conference, however, was on Messi and when asked about the club captain’s future, he said: ‘Of course I want him to stay. We’ll see what happens.
‘I arrived two weeks ago and I’m here to do my job and be a benchmark for this club. I am very happy to be here and I hope to be able to have many games, goals and assists.
‘Everyone has had their story and I want to create mine and make history.’
Trincao, meanwhile, is yet to speak to his new head coach to find out what sort of role he can expect in his first season in LaLiga.
‘I have to talk to the coach first, but I can play in all of the attacking positions,” said Trincao.
‘I feel comfortable in all of them and I am here to help. We’ll see what the coach wants from me.’
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