Lionel Messi’s doubts towards renewing his contract with Barcelona, which runs out in 2018, has dominated the sports agenda across the city and much of Europe today. In line with MARCA’s exclusive, that the player told the Blaugrana of his decision not to renew in July, fellow Spanish newspaper Sport have published their own ‘confidential’ piece in which the club itself ‘admitted that it is working to convince Messi to extend his contract’. This coincides with the words of Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu: “I don’t know what will happen in the future, but we’ll try to explain to [Messi] that he’s at the best club in the world.”
Although many sources acknowledge that the Catalan club are yet to convince their talisman to renew, one has claimed that the MARCA exclusive was based around: “revenge against Barcelona for refusing to attend the newspaper’s awards gala on October 25 … The club believe not going to the gala led to this front page and they do not want to put more fuel on the fire for a battle that is not helpful to them.”Barcelona know that financial muscle alone in the region of a 48 million euro salary is not enough to ensure Messi’s continuity at the Camp Nou, but remain intent on a long-term contract that guarantees a role with the club post-retirement.Today, only the man himself knows whether he’ll decide his future and renew soon, wait until 2018, or somewhere in between. He could decide to stay in Barcelona, where he’s been since the age of 13, or try a new adventure in English football.