Lionel Messi has revealed that he does not want to sign a contract for life ‘that binds me’, as has been proposed by Barcelona.
The Blaugrana president Josep María Bartomeu is said to be intent on extending the Argentine forward’s contract until after the 2022 World Cup and Cadena Ser reported last week it would be a ‘lifelong contract’.
Bartomeu and Jorge Messi, the player’s father and agent, have not sat down to speak recently but the president is said to be intent on resolving this issue as soon as possible.
Messi recently said he has not spoken to Bartomeu since the Champions League exit at Liverpool six months ago but added that he was open to discussing a renewal.
“It is true that Barcelona proposed me a contract for life, but what I said was that I do not want a contract that binds me like that,” Messi told Radio Metro in Argentina, as cited by Diario AS.
“I want to be fine to continue playing and to continue fighting for goals here. Being here I can be for life, but not with a contract. Here I would stay a lifetime.
“Neymar? We talk to him a lot. We still have a Whastapp group with Luis (Suárez). It's complicated for him to come back, as he left here, many club members and people don't want him to come back.
“It is understandable, but it is also a bit complicated.
“Cristiano Ronaldo not in Spain anymore? It is strange. It was good when Cristiano Ronaldo was there, he made El Clasicos much more special, he gave more value to La Liga as well.”
Barça wants to close the renovation as soon as possible, although in the club they think it will be Messi who decides when the renovation is done.
They want to offer Messi a de facto lifelong contract that goes beyond football which woul include the link between the "Messi" brand and Barcelona for at least ten years.
The 32-year-old has starred for the Catalan giants across 16 successive seasons and has scored a remarkable 604 goals – a club record – in 692 appearances for the team.
Messi has won an incredible 34 trophies with the Blaugrana including 10 La Liga titles, four Champions League crowns and six Copa del Rey trophies.