Lionel Messi mum over future at Barcelona after contract expiry in 2018
Everybody is talking about Lionel Messi's possible departure from Barcelona when his contract expires in 2018. Everybody but him.
Barcelona: Everybody is talking about Lionel Messi's possible departure from Barcelona when his contract expires in 2018.
Everybody but him.
Messi is neither confirming nor denying a report in sports newspaper Marca that the player has told Barcelona that he does not intend to renew his contract.
The player's representatives said on Monday that Messi would not be making any comments related to the story.
Marca claimed that Messi told the club about his alleged decision in July, not long after he and his father were convicted of defrauding Spanish tax authorities — something that Marca said played a major role in the player's decision-making process.
Messi and his father have denied any wrongdoing and said they would appeal.
Barcelona did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Some publications in Barcelona challenged the story by the Madrid-based Marca. The daily denied that its report came in retaliation for Messi not showing up at a recent awards ceremony organized by the newspaper.
The 29-year-old Messi arrived at Barcelona as a teenager from Argentina, and has never publicly talked about being unhappy at the club.
The five-time player of the year has become the face of the Catalan club and has four Champions League titles and eight Spanish league triumphs.
The last time Barcelona failed to reach the knock-out stage of the Champions League was in 2003.
After losing 3-0 to both Bayern Munich and Benfica, Barca sit bottom of Group E with two games against Kiev up next, the first at Camp Nou on Wednesday.
LaLiga: Barcelona's Pedri signs contract extension until 2026, deal to include $1.16 billion release clause
"FC Barcelona and the player, Pedro Gonzalez 'Pedri', have agreed a contract extension until 30 June 2026. The release clause is set at 1 billon euros," the club said in a statement.