Barcelona fans have revealed their opinion on whether they want captain and talisman Lionel Messi to stay at the club or leave.
Messi's contract with Barcelona expires in the summer and it looks likely that the superstar will leave the Catalan giants.
Barcelona fans divided on Lionel Messi as survey reveals true feelings
In a survey conducted by Mundo Deportivo, there is a near-perfect divide between those who want Lionel Messi to stay, and those who want him to leave.
52.2% believe that Barcelona should try to give Messi a new contract, of which 14.5% think his services should be retained at any price, and 33.6% feel that this should happen only if he agrees to a salary reduction.
46.8% believe no effort to keep him should be made. Of this, 33.6% think he should be allowed to leave if that is his desire, and 13.2% are of the opinion that his departure would help with the regeneration of a decidedly uninspired first team.
Lionel Messi had made it clear last summer that he wanted out of Barcelona. However, a move failed to occur and the Argentina international continues to captain the side.
The 33-year-old is often considered to be Barcelona's greatest ever player, and is regarded as one of the best players of all-time.
Since making his debut for Barcelona in 2004, Messi has made 750 appearances in all competitions for the club, scoring 644 goals.
With the calendar shifting to January 2021, Messi is now allowed to talk to other European clubs in an official capacity, and sign a pre-contract agreement with a view to moving there in the summer.
Manchester City are considered to be the favorites to sign him, while Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain have also been touted as a potential destination.
Only a select few clubs can afford Messi's enormous wages, and even if Barcelona were to offer him a new contract, there have been suggestions that they would have to ask him to take a wage-cut.
Barcelona are in a precarious financial condition, and this was evident throughout the summer transfer window.
The club continues to be linked with players whose contracts expire in the summer, with the likes of Eric Garcia, Memphis Depay and Georginio Wijnaldum all seen as potential targets.
Published 04 Jan 2021, 17:25 IST