Lionel Messi has interrupted his vacation for crunch talks over his Barcelona future with new manager Ronald Koeman.
Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu has asked the captain to meet with the Dutchman on Thursday to “discuss fundamental questions about the future of the club,” according to TyC Sports.
One of the most important topics up for discussion is the future of the Argentina international and whether he intends to stay at the Camp Nou.
The 33-year-old is “angry” and “disappointed” with the Catalan giants following their Champions League humiliation at the hands of Bayern Munich.
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Koeman Wants Messi to Stay
Koeman was unveiled as Barcelona’s latest manager on a two-year deal on Wednesday and was, unsurprisingly, asked about Messi and whether the Argentine will stay at the club.
The Dutchman made his feelings about the Barcelona captain, who is contracted to the club until the end of next season, pretty clear in his press conference.
“I don’t know if I have to convince Messi [to stay]. I don’t know. Of course he’s the best in the world and the best players in the world you want in your team, you don’t want him playing against you. For me as a coach I would love to work with Messi because he wins matches.
“For now he still has a contract, he’s still a Barcelona player. I need to speak to him, he’s the captain. We need to work with him and speak to various players. In Messi’s case I hope he stays with us.”
Messi is yet to comment since the defeat to Bayern Munich, but his silence has not stopped speculation about his future continuing to swirl. Yet it’s also unclear where he would go if he did decide to leave and which clubs would be able to afford to sign the 33-year-old.
Bartomeu Calm on Messi Future
President Bartomeu certainly seems calm about the club captain’s future. The 57-year-old spoke to Barca TV earlier this week and says Barca will continue to count on their star man.
“Messi wants to end his career at Barca, he has said that many times. I’ve spoken to Koeman about him and he has told me Messi will be the pillar of his project,” he said.
“Messi has a contract with Barca until 2021. I speak to him and his father regularly, and they know that we have a solid project, that a new coach is coming and that he will count on him.”
Messi and the rest of the first-team squad were given time off after the conclusion of their Champions League to rest before the start of the La Liga season in September.