Barcelona news has been dominated in recent times by the future of Lionel Messi. The Argentine superstar tried to leave the club last summer only to be thwarted, and sees his contract with the Catalan club expire this summer.
Said contract has been the source of controversy in recent days, with El Mundo leaking the details on Sunday morning to reveal that Messi has earned north of €500m throughout the four-year deal. He’s said to be furious and in the process of preparing legal action against the newspaper for the breach of privacy.
On the pitch, Barcelona have been sub-standard this season. They’re currently second in La Liga, ten points off leaders Atletico Madrid, and lost the final of the Supercopa de Espana to Athletic Bilbao. They’re still in the Copa del Rey and the Champions League, but have proven unconvincing in both.
It’s safe to say that Ronald Koeman has endured a tumultuous start to his reign at Camp Nou after taking over this past summer, and he’s revealed in a recent interview that he’s not overly optimistic about retaining Messi’s services heading into what could be his second season in charge of Barcelona.
“I’m not confident about that,” Koeman said when asked about keeping Messi by The Athletic in comments carried by Caught Offside. “I’m hopeful, yes, about this because he’s a great player and he’s still winning matches for us, for the team.
“I’m enjoying being his coach. If you look at his qualities every day in the training sessions, it’s remarkable. Of course, he came as a young kid to Barcelona. And I still don’t see Leo Messi in another shirt other than the Barcelona shirt.”