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'Messi not leaving, he wants to end his career at Barca'

August 19, 2020 10:16 IST
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Lionel Messi's contract with Barca runs till 2021

IMAGE: Lionel Messi's contract with Barca runs till 2021. Photograph:

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has said that striker Lionel Messi would not be leaving the club as he wants to end his career while playing for the Catalan side.

His remarks come as severe speculation is doing the rounds about Messi's future at the club.

"Messi wants to end his career while playing at Barcelona. He 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."

 

“He's part of our project. Koeman will be the new manager and he told me that Messi is a key player for our new project," Bartomeu told Barca TV.

"The renovation will be as deep as necessary. I decided to give this generation the opportunity for another year. Perhaps it was time to start the renovation last year," he added.

Barcelona was given an 8-2 drubbing by Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-final, and since then, the club has been dealing with a crisis.

Head coach Quique Setien and technical manager Eric Abidal have already departed and Bartomeu confirmed that Ronald Koeman will be the new coach of Barcelona.

Bartomeu also brushed aside rumours of Neymar coming back to Barcelona as he said that PSG does not want to sell their star striker.

"Neymar back to Barcelona? PSG doesn't want to sell him this summer. We're not in talks for Lautaro Martinez right now, we stopped negotiations with Inter at the end of June. We'll see what will happen," Bartomeu said.

Barcelona had to endure a trophy-less 2019-20 campaign.

The side had finished at the second place, behind Real Madrid in La Liga standings for the 2019-20 season.

Bartomeu, who on Monday announced that the club's presidential elections will take place in March 2021, three months earlier than planned, also defended his running of the club after facing calls to resign after the defeat by Bayern.

"We have a sporting crisis but not an institutional one," he added.

"We've had a very negative result in the Champions League but the club is in a good place in a social and financial sense."

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IPL 2020

IPL 2020