Lionel Messi’s future remains the subject of speculation with the Barcelona captain out of contract at the Camp Nou at the end of June and able to walk away for free but it does appear talks over a new deal may be on the way.
The Argentine’s father and agent, Jorge Messi, was spotted in Barcelona on Sunday night, fuelling speculation he is in the Catalan city to discuss his son’s future at the club with president Joan Laporta.
Messi senior was spotted watching Barcelona B play Villarreal B on Sunday night at the Estadi Johan Cruyff.
❗| Jorge Messi is in Barcelona. He is currently spotted at the Barça B game, he is also joined by Rodrigo (Messi’s Brother). Rumors suggest he will meet with the club later on to discuss the renewal of Messi’s contract. [@martinezferran] pic.twitter.com/RVJ184Aa7I
— La Senyera (@LaSenyera) April 18, 2021
Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano reports that Laporta is ready to start talks about Messi’s future at the club beyond this season.
Jorge Messi – Leo Messi’s father – is in Barcelona right now as reported by @martinezferran.
Barça president Joan Laporta is ready to open talks with Messi in the next days to extend his contract. Laporta is still confident and convinced about Messi’s future at Barça. 🇦🇷 #FCB
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) April 18, 2021
Messi has given little away about his future despite speculation he could be ready to call time on his Barcelona career. He said in an interview with La Sexta back in December he would wait until the end of the campaign before making a decision.
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Laporta ‘Confident’ Messi Will Renew
Laporta spoke about Messi’s future on Saturday after watching the captain lift the Copa del Rey trophy. The 33-year-old scored twice in a 4-0 win over Athletic to collect his 35th title with the Catalan giants.
The Barca president sounded confident he can convince Messi to continue at the club and sign a contract extension in an interview with Telecinco after the game, according to Marca.
“Leo is the best player in the world. He’s very attached to this club,” he said. “I’m convinced that he wants to stay and we’ll do everything in our power so that he stays “Today, we saw that he’s surrounded by a great team. They played some very good football.”
Messi granted Barca TV a rare interview after the win. The Argentine gave little away about his future but did acknowledge it was “very special” to be the captain of the club.
Messi Renewal Rated ’50:50′
Barcelona’s Copa del Rey win has boosted confidence and optimism around the Camp Nou and it would not be a surprise now if Messi did opt to stay despite asking to leave last summer.
Yet Barca’s financial problems may prove problematic when it comes to contract renewal talks and the club may reportedly be forced to hand Messi a pay-cut if he is to prolong his stay.
Goal’s Ruben Uria, who interviewed Messi after his request to leave last year, has told Catalunya Radio that the captain’s renewal is “50:50.” Uria added, “It all depends on a one-on-one conversation with Laporta, but it’s hard to offer him a project if you don’t know who the coach will be.”
There has been speculation over Ronald Koeman’s future at the club. The Dutchman has another year remaining on his contract and has been backed by Laporta, while Saturday’s win is likely to have boosted his chances of staying on for at least another season.
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