Lionel Messi News: Barcelona to offer the Argentine talisman a lifetime contract that could see him retire at the club
What's the story?
In case you didn't know...
Messi, whose current contract with Barcelona is in effect until 2021, recently made the headlines when it was claimed that a clause in his contract allows him to leave the club at the end of every season.
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu confirmed the existence of the clause in a statement on Friday, telling Barca TV,
"Leo Messi has a contract through to the 2020/21 season, but the player is able to leave Barca before the final season."
"It's the same case as with the final contracts that Xavi, [Carles] Puyol and [Andres] Iniesta had. They are players who deserve that liberty, and we shouldn't worry, as they are very committed to Barca. We want Messi to play for Barca through to 2021 and beyond. We are very calm."
Messi has thus far made 687 appearances for the Catalan giants and has tallied an outrageous 603 goals and 242 assists for the club.
The heart of the matter
According to Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona are planning to offer Messi a lifetime contract that could see him hang up his boots at the Camp Nou.
The report claims that Bartomeu and club general director Grascar Grau have been considering the idea of such a contract for a long time and have even pitched it to the Assembly of Committees.
The proposed contract will reportedly be similar to the ones previously given to club legends Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez.
Barcelona believe that Messi will only stay at the Camp Nou until 2022 in order to help Argentina in the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The club think that the 32-year-old will then leave for either former club Newell’s Old Boys or an MLS outfit.
There is, however, no haste to negotiate Messi's future at Barcelona as the forward has proven himself to be loyal to the club on several occasions.
Messi appears to be in full control over his future at Barcelona and it remains to be seen whether he will see his career out at the Camp Nou or look for a new challenge elsewhere.