Lionel Messi’s future remains the subject of much speculation after the Barcelona captain’s failed attempt to leave the Camp Nou last summer. What’s not in doubt is that the 33-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season and could walk away for free.
Obviously Barcelona will be keen to avoid that scenario at all costs, but the club have work to do if they are to keep hold of their captain and persuade him to sign a contract extension at the club.
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Barcelona’s Form Crucial
According to Marca, “there is a chance” that Messi could indeed stay but much will depend on what happens at the club over the coming months. The first “key factor” in convincing Messi to stay is the “form of himself and the team.”
Messi has not been at his prolific best so far in 2020-21 but has scored six times in 10 games and been influential for his team. Ronald Koeman’s side haven’t enjoyed the best of starts but Messi’s relationship with the new boss is “good” which will be “crucial going forward.”
Barca head into the international break down in eighth place in the table but do have two games in hand on the majority of teams in La Liga. It’s also worth noting Koeman’s men have been perfect so far in the Champions League with three wins from three.
Next President & Barca Future
The second condition that will need to satisfy Messi in order to convince him to stay is who will replace Josep Maria Bartomeu as president. The 57-year-old was unpopular with supporters and resigned in October along with the rest of his board.
Messi hit out at Bartomeu in September after being denied an exit. The Argentine told Goal’s Ruben Uria that he believed he had an agreement that would have allowed him to depart at the end of the season but that the president “didn’t keep his word.”
The Barca captain is keen to see what direction the club will go in after the Bartomeu era, particularly in regards to “the sporting director’s position, the head coach and the transfer policy.”
Barcelona interim president Carles Tusquets has said presidential elections are due to take place around Christmas time, as reported by the club’s official website.
Messi is able to negotiate a pre-contract with other clubs from January, and there has been speculation Manchester City could be in touch, but the captain will not decide his future until the end of the season.
All of which means Barca have plenty of work to do both on and off the pitch in the coming months if they are to keep hold of their superstar who will surely not lack for offers if he does decide to call time on his incredible career at the Camp Nou.