Barcelona captain Lionel Messi has reportedly asked his father and agent, Jorge Messi, to delay talks over a contract extension at the Camp Nou until the end of the 2020-21 season.
Helena Condis at Cadena Cope reports that sources close to Messi have revealed “he doesn’t want to sit down and negotiate his renewal with the Barça directive while Barça is playing for the LaLiga title.”
The Catalan giants remain in contention to win the title, along with Atletico and Real Madrid, and have just eight games of the season left to play, starting on Thursday against Getafe at the Camp Nou.
Condis adds that Messi “wants to be focused to try to win the double, without extra-sports distractions related to his future. ” The Argentine is said to have a good relationship with president Joan Laporta but “believes that now he has to think about the interests of the team.”
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Koeman Talks Barca’s Double Hopes
Barcelona head into Thursday’s match in good spirits after lifting the Copa del Rey trophy on Saturday by beating Athletic 4-0. Ronald Koeman’s side now return to La Liga action and know they will be champions if they win their final eight matches.
Koeman talked about his team’s hopes of doing the double on Wednesday in his pre-match press conference ahead of the visit from Getafe.
“When you are a Barça player you always want more, winning the Copa del Rey can give us a little peace of mind, but that doesn’t mean that we reduce our work or our energy. We want to fight to win La Liga, but it won’t be easy,” he said. “Pressure always exists at Barca. We have to play well, win, keep fighting. We were quite a long way away but we have been able to recover and now it’s the moment to keep fighting. We need to show we can win the league championship.”
Barca trailed Atletico by 10 points earlier but a 19-match unbeaten run, which ended in El Clasico, saw Koeman’s men cut the gap and put the destiny of the title in their hands ahead of the run-in.
Praise for Messi
Messi continued the superb form he has shown in 2021 in the Copa del Rey final, scoring twice in the 4-0 win. The 33-year-old now has in 21 goals in 22 appearances since the turn of the year.
Getafe boss Jose Bordalas was full of praise for the Argentina international ahead of his team’s match at the Camp Nou during his pre-match press conference on Wednesday, as reported by Diario Sport.
He explained, “[Messi] is, without any doubt, the best player in history. I would love for him to continue with us. He has made our league bigger.”
Barcelona will be big favorites to take all three points on Thursday night but will be well aware that Getafe won 1-0 when the teams last met in La Liga back in October at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez.
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