Messi re­mains quiet over ru­mours of Barca exit

Re­ports say star will not re­new con­tract

7 Days in Dubai - - SPORT -

Ev­ery­body is talk­ing about Lionel Messi’s pos­si­ble de­par­ture from Barcelona when his con­tract ex­pires in 2018. Ev­ery­body but him.

Messi is nei­ther con­firm­ing nor deny­ing a re­port in sports news­pa­per Marca that the player has told Barcelona that he does not in­tend to re­new his con­tract.

The player’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives said that Messi would not be mak­ing any com­ments re­lated to the story.

Marca claimed that Messi told the club about his de­ci­sion in July, not long after he and his fa­ther were con­victed of de­fraud­ing Span­ish tax au­thor­i­ties – some­thing that Marca said played a ma­jor role in the player’s de­ci­sion­mak­ing process.

Messi and his fa­ther have de­nied any wrong­do­ing and said they would ap­peal.

Barcelona did not re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment.

Some pub­li­ca­tions in Barcelona chal­lenged the story by the Madrid-based Marca.

The daily news­pa­per de­nied that its re­port came in re­tal­i­a­tion for Messi not show­ing up at a re­cent awards cer­e­mony or­gan­ised by the news­pa­per.

The 29-yearold Messi ar­rived at Barcelona as a teenager from Argentina and has never pub­licly talked about be­ing un­happy at the club.

The five-time player of the year has be­come the face of the Cata­lan club and has four Cham­pi­ons League ti­tles and eight Span­ish league tri­umphs.

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