Lionel Messi will remain loyal to FC Barcelona till the end, says club president
FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu predicted Wednesday that Lionel Messi would not only extend his contract with the Catalan club but also end his playing days there too.
Barcelona: FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu predicted Wednesday that Lionel Messi would not only extend his contract with the Catalan club but also end his playing days there too.
Speaking at the launch of the 55 million euros ($59 million) a year shirt sponsorship deal Bartomeu told journalists he was "relaxed about Messi's contract".
With the clock ticking and only 18 months left on Messi's deal the club want to extend it, as they did with Neymar and as they are trying to do with Luis Suarez.
"We are all convinced that he will end his playing days at the heart of this club. All the socios (stake-holding fans) believe it, it's just a question of how we get over the line," he said.
"This player has led us to our great sporting successes in recent years and he will continue to do so, he's far from finished."
Spanish sports daily Marca had sown doubt over the 29-year-old Messi's future on Monday with claims the Argentine was stalling over a new deal and flirting instead with the idea of joining his former coach Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.
Brazilian superstar Neymar signed a new five-year contract with Barcelona in October that will keep the 24-year-old at the Spanish champions until 2021, saying he felt "at home" at the Camp Nou.
European Golden Shoe winner Luis Suarez said last week negotiations to extend his contract with Barcelona until 2021 were running smoothly.
Barcelona want to increase Camp Nou's capacity to 110,000 while also refurbishing its surrounding area, which includes a pavilion for the club's other sports, the museum and stores.
Kylian Mbappe revealed he asked to go in July and hoped to leave with a good deal and respect on all sides. Reports that his request was in the last week of August made him sound like a thief, Mbappe said.
Messi joined Paris Saint-Germain in August after Barca decided not to renew the Argentinian’s contract due to LaLiga’s strict salary limits.