Football Sports

Messi will stay at Barcelona, says Bartomeu

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu repeated on Sunday that he had “no doubt” Lionel Messi would sign a new contract adding that he can only see Neymar returning in a player exchange.

“Messi has said many times that he wants to retire here and I have no doubt that he will re-sign,” said Bartomeu in an interview published by Barcelona’s sports newspaper Mundo Deportivo.

Messi’s contract expires in June of 2021 and local radio station Cadena Ser reported at the start of July that the Argentine had broken off talks with the club.

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Messi has had regular disagreements with the club’s board.

He reacted publicly when sporting director Eric Abidal appeared to blame the players for the sacking of coach Ernesto Valverde in January.

He also led the fightback from the Barcelona players over a dispute with the board in March regarding pay cuts during the coronavirus pandemic.

Barcelona collapsed after La Liga resumed to drop to second as Real Madrid took the title and the 33-year-old Messi was one of those criticised.

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