Barcelona fans have been offered some good news on Lionel Messi’s future amid continued speculation about the captain’s next move.
The 33-year-old is continuing to “reflect on his future” but there is now more chance he will stay at the Camp Nou than a few months ago, according to Deportes Cuatro. The report adds that Messi has realized there are no guarantees he will win the Champions League even if does leave quit the Camp Nou.
The Argentine is also keen not to disappoint Barcelona fans who have supported him throughout his 20 years at the club and is starting to see some “green shoots” both in Ronald Koeman’s new team and the management of the Catalan giants.
Messi is out of contract at the end of the season and able to walk away for free. The captain has given few clues about his plans but told La Sexta’s Jordi Evole in December he will wait until the end of the campaign to make a decision.
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Barca Youngsters Offer Hope?
One of the reasons why Messi could be tempted to stay is the number of impressive young players currently at Barcelona. Teenage midfielder Pedri has arrived from Las Palmas and become an instant hit at the Camp Nou.
The 18-year-old has already forced himself into Koeman’s starting XI on a regular basis and has also struck up a brilliant relationship on the pitch with Messi.
Frenkie de Jong is also a player bang in form. The 23-year-old scored his fifth goal of the season to send Barca past Rayo Vallecano in the Copa del Rey and is starting to finally justify his €75 million transfer fee.
Young defenders Ronald Araujo, Oscar Mingueza, and Sergino Dest have also enjoyed regular football this season, while 18-year-old Ansu Fati has been missed after being sidelined following knee surgery.
Koeman also handed 18-year-old Ilaix Moriba his first-team debut in the Copa del Rey win over Cornella in January. Popular midfielder Riqui Puig is also starting to make an impact and scored his first goal for Barca in the win over Elche last time out in La Liga.
PSG Keep Talking Messi
The uncertainty over Messi’s future has inevitably drawn interest from other clubs, and presidential candidate Joan Laporta has already hit out at Paris Saint-Germain for talking up a move for the Barcelona skipper.
However, that has not prevented PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino from being asked yet again if he would like Messi in his team, as reported by AS.
Sometimes, words fail me. Your question says it all. What coach in the world wouldn’t want a player of that calibre? I totally understand the question, but it’s an attempt to cause a controversy. It’s a dangerous question for me to answer if my words are then taken out of context… Then we’ll see ‘Pochettino lacks respect, Pochettino said this, Pochettino said that…’
Reports have even emerged that Messi and his family are now learning French, although those claims have been swiftly rejected, according to Sport.
The speculation surrounding Messi is unlikely to end any time soon, but the forward seems in no rush to make a decision and much may depend on what happens between now and the end of the season.