There are now less than 100 days remaining of Messi’s current deal at the Camp Nou and his future beyond the current season remains unclear.
The 33-year-old is out of contract at the Catalan giants on 30 June and he has theoretically been free to speak to other clubs from January due to the expiration date.
Last summer’s Messi news saw him attempt to leave the club as a free agent but he backed down on his stance as he did not want to go to court to force the move, and he stayed for this campaign – but his future now is dominating Barcelona news.
Puyol told reporters, in quotes carried by Diario Sport: “We spoke recently when he equalled Xavi (in all-time club appearances – 767). I see him well, with desire. It would be very good news for the club if he stays, I think he is in the best place.
“Everyone decides what they want and it will be necessary to understand and respect the decision he makes.”
Puyol was a rock at the heart of the Catalan club’s defence over 15 seasons and was a teammate of the Argentine star for eight of those campaigns.
Now aged 42, Puyol retired in 2014 having made 593 first-team appearances for the Catalan giants and winning 100 caps for the Spanish national team.