What Lionel Messi Told New Barcelona Boss Ronald Koeman About His Future
Quique Setien was sacked by the club days later and Koeman was officially confirmed as his replacement on Wednesday.
The Dutchman is keen to keep hold of Messi, but RAC1 per Metro have reported the six-time Ballon d'Or winner left a holiday in the Pyreness to tell Koeman his future wasn't decided.
Messi's deal with the Catalan giants runs until next summer and he is yet to sign an extension.
"He's still got a contract and is still a Barcelona player," Koeman stated when discussing the 33-year-old at his unveiling.
"At this point I need to speak to him because he is the captain. We need to work with him and speak with various players. We need to make some decisions but in Messi's case I hope he stays with us.
"I don't know if I have to convince Messi [to stay], whether it's that or not. He is the best player in the world and the best player in the world you want in your team, you don't want him playing against you.
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"As a coach I would love to work with Messi because he wins matches. If he's at the ability and level he has always shown I'd be more than happy for him to stay."
Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu echoed Koeman's sentiment in a recent club address and called Messi 'non-transferable.'
"Messi is untouchable and non-transferable," he told Barca TV. "He knows it, we all know it. But there are various non-transferable players like [Marc-Andre] ter Stegen, [Clement] Lenglet, [Nelson] Semedo, [Frenkie] De Jong, [Antoine] Griezmann, [Ousmane] Dembele... players we are counting on in the future.
"He [Messi] has a contract until 2021, I speak a lot with Leo and more regularly with his father.
"He is number one in the world. There is no doubt that in Koeman's new project you can count on Messi.
"Messi wants to finish his career with Barcelona and Koeman sees him as a fundamental part of his project."
Do you think Lionel Messi will leave Barcelona this summer?
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Featured Image Credit: PA Images
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