Messi unsure of Barca stay
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.