Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu believes Lionel Messi will retire at the club and has no fears he will now renew his contract.
Messi has a clause in his current deal at the club which would see him allowed to leave at the end of any given season should he so desire, but the deadline for exercising that this year has already passed.
The Argentine’s future has been central to Barcelona news in recent weeks amid growing speculation that Messi will leave Barcelona, with Spanish radio station Cadena Ser claiming he was eyeing an exit at the expiration of his current contract, in 2021.
“I see Messi wanting to stay here and I am convinced he will retired at the club, like he has said,” Bartomeu explained to Catalan radio station RAC1 on Tuesday.
“He many years of football left ahead of him and I do not have any doubt he will stay here and with another president after me – we are obliged to renew his deal.”
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu together with CEO Óscar Grau will represent the club in any negotiations process and they will be dealing with Messi’s father Jorge.
It is claimed that Messi’s priority is not the length of the contract, but of retaining the clause that allows him to leave at the end of any given season should he wish to do so.
Messi, who celebrated his 33rd birthday last month, has spent the entirety of his professional career at the Camp Nou.