Amid reports Lionel Messi would be free to leave Barcelona at the end of the season, it’s reported the club are keen to offer the forward a new contract.
Marca contradict reports from Mundo Deportivo that claim Messi would be able to leave Barca a year before his contract expires in 2021 by saying that his deal only runs until 2020, and the extra year is optional. They add there’s no option for another year after that, to 2022.
It had been claimed that Messi would be allowed to leave in the summer to move to a smaller League, as Xavi Hernandez was when he quit Camp Nou to play in Qatar, and Andres Iniesta did by moving to Japan.
Marca say that isn’t the case and Messi could agree a contract with any club from January 1, when he enters the last six months of his existing deal.
That’s a scenario Barca want to avoid, and the club is moving to tie Messi down, but Messi is reluctant to commit to anything until he can establish how he feels physically at the end of the season.
It’s also noted that Messi could still choose to stay at Barca, and his wish to delay a commitment doesn’t reflect an intention to leave, but rather that he sees no reason to rush into anything.