Messi un­sure of Barca stay

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport Starts Here -

LIONEL Messi told Barcelona in the sum­mer that he wouldn’t con­sider a new deal with the de­fend­ing La Liga cham­pi­ons un­til his cur­rent one runs out in June of 2018, ac­cord­ing to Span­ish daily Marca.

Barca lead­ers have pre­vi­ously said that their pri­or­ity is to tie the Argentina cap­tain to a long-term deal and are hope­ful of do­ing so be­fore the end of this year.

How­ever, Marca news­pa­per, cit­ing un­named sources, claimed yes­ter­day that the 29-year-old Messi does not wish to con­sider his fu­ture un­til the end of his cur­rent deal.

Marca re­port that five-time Bal­lon d’Or win­ner Messi com­mu­ni­cated his wish to Barca just days after he and his fa­ther were handed a sus­pended 21-month sen­tence by a Span­ish court after be­ing found guilty of three counts of tax fraud.

Span­ish daily Sport, cit­ing un­named sources within the club, chal­lenged Marca yes­ter­day, say­ing that the pow­er­ful Span­ish daily made up the story as re­venge after Barcelona boy­cotted their awards cer­e­mony last week.

Sport re­ported yes­ter­day that Messi has no is­sue with his Cata­lan club and cited club sources as con­firm­ing that of­fi­cials want to re­new the con­tracts of all other key play­ers be­fore the end of they year so that in Jan­uary they can of­fer Messi a long-term deal.

Messi, the club’s all-time lead­ing scorer, cel­e­brated his 500th goal for Barca in a 2-1 win at Sevilla on Novem­ber 6.

He last signed a con­tract ex­ten­sion with the Cata­lan gi­ants in May 2014 and has a €250 mil­lion re­lease clause.

Messi is on in­ter­na­tional duty with Argentina and en­dured a 3-0 de­feat at Brazil on Thurs­day in the Al­bice­leste’s World Cup qual­i­fy­ing match. He is with his national team pre­par­ing for to­day’s home qual­i­fier against Colom­bia in San Juan, Argentina.— ESPNFC.

Lionel Messi

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