Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has revealed Lionel Messi could still be with the Spanish giants for five more seasons despite speculations he might leave the club in the summer.
This comes after the Argentine football star revealed that he turned down the offer of a lucrative lifetime contract at Barcelona because he didn’t want to be completely tied down by the club.
While he is under contract until 2021, a clause inserted in his current deal could see him leave the Nou Camp for nothing in the summer.
Speaking on the situation, Bartomeu told fans that the 32-year-old could be with Barca for another five seasons.
‘Leo Messi will still play with us for the next two, three, four or five years. I have no doubts about that,’ Bartomeu said in the post-match press conference following Barca’s 4-1 win over Celta Vigo, in which Messi scored a hat-trick.
‘Surely it will be the wish of all parties, if he (Lionel Messi) feels strong and ambitious, to extend this contract indefinitely,’ said Bartomeu.
‘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.
‘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.’
‘I have no doubt that after Messi finishes his career as a footballer, he will remain linked to this club for the rest of his life,’ Bartomeu added.