According to a report from renowned Spanish journalist Alfredo Martinez, Lionel Messi will make a final decision on his future at FC Barcelona in May. Newly appointed club president Joan Laporta will assess the club’s economic situation before offering the Argentine a new contract. Since stating his desire to leave Barcelona at the end of last season, Lionel Messi has consistently been linked with a move to either Manchester City or Paris Saint-Germain.
Following his fall out with former club president Josep Bartomeu, Lionel Messi, in an exclusive interview, revealed his desire to trigger a clause in his contract that would have allowed him to leave Barcelona at the end of last season.
However, Barcelona responded that the clause had expired before the end of the season, and clubs interested in the Argentine superstar will have to pay his €700m release clause. Messi mulled taking legal action against the club but decided not to and opted to stay with Barcelona until the end of the current season.
Messi, whose contract with Barcelona expires this summer, has been linked with a move away from the club since the start of the current season. However, after the appointment of Joan Laporta as club president, reports claim that Lionel Messi is now likely to pen a new deal and stay at Barcelona.
Spanish football expert Graham Hunter earlier revealed that Lionel Messi is “happier” at Barcelona and is likely to sign a new contract.
“The chances were nil last summer.
“They were about 25 per cent in the autumn, and I think they’ve increased to about 60 or 65 per cent. So I think he’ll stay.
“Messi is happier than he was last August and playing well, he’s LaLiga’s top scorer,” Hunter added.
But journalist Alfredo Martinez has now revealed that Lionel Messi will make his final decision on his Barcelona future in May. He added that club president Joan Laporta would assess the club’s economic situation before offering a new contract to Messi.
He wrote on his official Twitter page: Messi’s final decision is expected sometime in May, amid contrary reports. Laporta first has to assess the club’s economic situation before making an offer. His father, Jorge Messi, also doesn’t plan on traveling to Barcelona in the immediate future.
Barcelona chairman reveals desire to keep Lionel Messi at Camp Nou
Carles Tusquets, chairman of the managing committee currently at Barcelona, has squashed rumors claiming he urged Lionel Messi to leave the club. Speaking to Marca, the 70-year-old said:
"I did not say that it was necessary for [Messi] to leave the club," added Tusquets.
"They asked me if it would be economically beneficial and the answer, as an economist, is that it was obvious. But I have never said that I wanted Messi to leave the club.
"The one who wanted to leave the club at that time was Messi. If he has to stay, he has to do so under favourable conditions for Barcelona."
Despite the swirling transfer speculations, Lionel Messi has been a star performer for Barcelona this season. The 33-year-old became Barcelona’s all-time leading appearance maker when he featured in Sunday’s win over Real Sociedad.
Lionel Messi grabbed a couple of goals and assisted another as he inspired Blaugrana to an emphatic 6-1 win over Real Sociedad. Messi currently tops the La Liga scoring chart with 23 goals and is joint-highest on the assist chart.