Barcelona are reportedly looking forward to renewing Argentine forward Lionel Messi's contract in the coming weeks. Lionel Messi's father and agent Jorge Messi was recently seen in Barcelona, which has led to rumors that the talismanic forward is in negotiations over a new deal with the club.
According to barcablaugranes, Lionel Messi is close to deciding to stay at Barcelona. The 33-year-old was desperate to leave the club at the end of last season but has had a change of heart since the club have shown signs of vast improvement in recent months under Ronald Koeman.
Lionel Messi had a number of fall-outs with the club's hierarchy. The Argentine was also left enraged after the club decided to sell close friend and star striker Luis Suarez to Atletico Madrid.
Despite being linked with moves to Manchester City and PSG, Lionel Messi was forced to stay at the Camp Nou due to his mammoth €700 million release clause. Lionel Messi's current contract with Barcelona expires at the end of the season and he was widely tipped to leave the Catalan giants this summer.
The six-time Ballon D'Or winner has reportedly had a change of heart in recent weeks. Barcelona beat Athletic Bilbao 4-0 in the final of the Copa Del Rey this weekend and are currently in third place in La Liga, just five points behind leaders Atletico, with a game in hand over Diego Simeone's side.
Newly elected Barcelona president Joan Laporta is also said to be one of the major reasons why Lionel Messi has decided to stay at the club. The 33-year-old is said to have a close relationship with Laporta and has faith in Barcelona's current project.
Signing Lionel Messi to a new contract could be Barcelona's most important deal this summer
Barcelona are currently going through a transitional phase under Ronald Koeman. The Catalans currently have a mixture of experienced individuals and talented youngsters who have the potential to develop into future stars.
Barcelona have endured a number of problems on and off the field in recent years, but seem to have found some stability since Joan Laporta was elected as the club's new president.
Keeping hold of Lionel Messi will be key to Laporta and Koeman's plans for Barcelona as they look to build a team around him to challenge for trophies next season.