With his current contract set to expire next summer, Barcelona fans can be forgiven for feeling a little anxious over Lionel Messi’s future.
The 30-year-old has established himself as a club legend with a staggering 521 goals in 594 appearances in all competitions, which have led to countless individual and collective trophies and accolades.
Having provided a reminder this week that he remains one of the best players in world football while on international duty to book Argentina’s spot at the World Cup in Russia, the conversation will now quickly revert back to his club future.
Such is the concern over Messi’s contract situation, The Sun report that he’s considering a ‘fresh start’ in England, with a reunion with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City proposed as a possibility.
However, Balague has offered a reassuring take on the situation as far as Barcelona supporters are concerned, as he’s convinced that the Barca star will be going nowhere and it’s just a matter of time before his contract is made official and the club can publicly celebrate his renewed commitment.
“It is being said that he is already being paid under the new contract but there is no picture with the president,” he told Sky Sports. “There is no rush for it, club politics mean the timing is not right for Leo. No chance of him leaving Barcelona at the moment.”
Things can of course change between now and the end of the season, but ultimately it’s still difficult to envisage Messi in a jersey other than Barcelona’s.
Having stamped his name into the club’s history books, they’ll surely be desperate to avoid losing him in the latter stages of his career, as similarly to Andres Iniesta, they’ll want to him to stay and continue to be a fundamental part of the team.
The speculation won’t go away until Messi puts pen to paper, but based on Balague’s insight, there is no panic behind the scenes at Barcelona, as the belief is that it’s just a matter of time before the Argentine icon officially inks new terms.