Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu insists he is confident Lionel Messi will stay at the club, but refused to comment on how far along talks are regarding a contract renewal.
Messi won the Ballon d’Or for a record breaking sixth time on Monday evening, pipping Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk to the award. The Argentine has been sensational since returning from injury, registering nine goals and five assists from just the nine appearances in La Liga to this point.
It was a very memorable evening for one of the greatest players of all time, if not the greatest. And following the awards ceremony, Barcelona president Bartomeu was questioned on the superstar’s future. In response, the 56-year-old revealed he isn’t concerned about the future of Messi, who has a contract with La Blaugrana until 2021.
“I talk to Leo [Messi] many times and I know he still has a lot to give. He also has a contract and will play many more years,” he claimed upon his arrival at Barcelona-El Prat Josep Tarradellas airport, as quoted by Mundo Deportivo.
However, Bartomeu remained coy when questioned about contract renewal talks. He added: “This is something else. Today we enjoy this Golden Ball, the sixth, and I think there will be many more. I’m very happy.”
The Spanish giants’ sporting director Eric Abidal recently confirmed that the club were working hard to extend his deal, claiming: “I know the president is talking to his representatives to ensure the contract is closed once and for all.”
Further to this, the player himself is believed to be happy to reject the chance to activate an exit clause in his contract next summer, instead preferring to stay and negotiate an extension.
It was also reported back in September that Barça were ready to hand Messi a lifetime contract that would tie him to the club even after retirement.