Lionel Messi “will continue” at Barcelona, claims the club’s former vice-president Jordi Mestre, with the Argentine superstar expected to put sporting ambition above financial gain.
Any new deal for the six-time Ballon d’Or at Camp Nou will be a lucrative one, with an all-time great deserving of terms that reflect his standing in the global game.
He could line his pockets elsewhere if free agency were to be hit, amid talk of interest from big-spending Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain, but Copa del Rey glory and a potential La Liga title triumph in 2020-21 have a one-club man edging towards staying put.
What has been said?
Mestre has told Sin Concesiones when asked about a big call from a talismanic presence in Catalunya: “Messi will continue. If he leaves it won’t be for money.”
Assistance for Messi
Barcelona have worked hard to ensure that Messi has enough talent around him to keep the club competitive and a key man interested in future challenges.
It has taken a while for value to be found in some of those deals, but the likes of Ousmane Dembele and Antoine Griezmann have enjoyed welcome returns to form this season.
Mestre added: “For Dembele the problem he has had are injuries. If not for those he would have been a great signing, like [Philippe] Coutinho.
“Griezmann is a superstar, but adapting from Atletico to Barca is not easy.”
Financial struggles are making life difficult for Barca off the pitch at present, with returning president Joan Laporta handed a testing project in a familiar hot seat.
Efforts have been made to bring more money into the club, with the riches on offer in Super League proposals considered to be a major factor in the Blaugrana signing up to those plans.
Opposition to that project has led to it being shelved for now, after many years of discussion, but Mestre believes a breakaway tournament is inevitable for elite clubs across Europe.
He said: “For clubs like Barca or Real Madrid, the Super League is vital.
“Communication has failed because it has not been explained and there has been a lot of demagoguery. I think that in the end it will end up being done.
“The Super League preparation has been going on for years, since 2015 or 2016 at the ECA meetings, where [Josep Maria] Bartomeu going. He was one of the main promoters.”