Josep Maria Bartomeu is ready to step down from his role as Barcelona president if Lionel Messi performs a U-turn on his decision to leave the club.

However, various sources insist Messi’s decision is firm, so they believe Bartomeu will not need to act out any pledge to quit.

Messi stunned Barca on Tuesday when he told the club he wanted out. His decision sparked a wave of criticism toward Bartomeu, with fans gathering at Camp Nou, calling for him to resign. A vote of no confidence has also been lodged against him.

However, Bartomeu does not want to fast-track elections, currently scheduled for March, and would instead prefer to leave the club in the hands of the current board of directors.

Messi sent a burofax to the club on Tuesday announcing his intention to leave this summer. He said he would invoke a clause that would allow him to leave for free.

The clause he referred to was included in his 2017 contract renewal and allows him to leave for free at the end of each season. However, he must notify the club within a certain time limit, which Barca say expired in June.