Amid the ongoing rumours of Lionel Messi planning to leave FC Barcelona, club president Josep Maria Bartomeu said that the Argentine will keep leading the Catalonian side in the upcoming seasons and is going nowhere for the next five years or so.
“Over the next two or three seasons our leader will continue to be Leo Messi. There’s no doubt that he is still young, still strong. He is still ambitious,” said Bartomeu to Sky Sports, adding, “So, Leo Messi will still play with us for the next two, three, four or five years. I have no doubts about that.”
Speculations of Messi leaving Blaugrana started when it was revealed this year that the 32-year-old forward, who has signed Barca until 2021, has a clause in his deal which could see him leave Camp Nou for nothing in the summer.
However, Bartomeu believes the side won’t lose Messi anytime soon.
“Surely it will be the wish of all parties, if he (Lionel Messi) feels strong and ambitious, to extend this contract indefinitely,” Bartomeu said.
“Ultimately it is he who must decide. He has earned the right to decide when he will stop playing football. But like he said a few weeks ago, he wants to finish his playing career at Barcelona,” he added.
Notably, in one of his recent interviews, Messi described Barcelona as a city that has given him “everything” and insisted that he doesn’t want to leave the place.
“I always say that I don’t want to leave (Barcelona), I have no thoughts of moving,” Messi had earlier said in an interview with Argentina’s TyC Sports.