Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman is adamant that his skipper and talisman Lionel Messi would stay on at Camp Nou past the expiration of his current deal.
The Argentina international has less than six months to go until his current deal with Barcelona expires. He has been linked with a reunion with Pep Guardiola after the Catalan extended his contract with Manchester City.
Lionel Messi was adamant that he was leaving Camp Nou last summer, and submitted a transfer request to the club. He was reportedly discontent with the direction the club was headed in.
However, he rescinded his request in order to prevent a protracted court battle. It is widely believed that he would see out his contract and leave for free next June.
The 33-year-old's comments since then have further validated those claims, as he recently admitted to 'being tired of being the cause of all the problems at Barcelona.'
Lionel Messi is free to start talking to new clubs from January over a transfer next summer and it is widely believed that his next destination will be the Etihad.
Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman is, however, convinced that his skipper is going nowhere and when he was asked by reporters whether Messi was leaving, he simply responded:
''No and I won't say more than this.''
The upcoming Barcelona presidential elections and the impact it could have on Lionel Messi's future
Despite having just a few months left on his deal, a lot can still happen to change Messi's stance on Barcelona, and one of those factors is the upcoming Barcelona presidential election.
The resignation of Josep Bartomeu saw the election pushed forward to January 17. The new president would be charged with steering the club's fortunes in the coming weeks.
Lionel Messi still has a lot of love for Barcelona, and his only grouse is the directionless leadership at board level over the last few years. If he can be given guarantees that the club would strengthen significantly, he could well commit to fresh terms.
One of the leading contenders in the election is Victor Font, who has already promised to bring Xavi Hernandez back to Barcelona as a manager.
The iconic midfielder shares a close relationship with Messi, and could play a key role in helping to convince his former teammate to remain at the club, and help build his own legacy in the dugout.Published 21 Nov 2020, 18:10 IST