Barcelona will reportedly begin contract talks with Lionel Messi to extend the Argentina forward’s stay at Camp Nou.
Messi’s current contract at the Catalan club runs out in 2021. Even though his current contract has a clause to extend its terms till 2022, Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu wants the 32-year-old to stay at Camp Nou till at least 2023 when he will be 36. Bartomeu will open contract negotiations with Messi’s father Jorge who is also his agent, according to ESPN.
The Argentina international joined Barcelona’s youth team in 2001 and broke into the senior team in 2004, and has since made 687 appearances for the Blaugrana across all competitions, scoring 603 goals and providing 242 assists.
Messi has so far won 34 trophies during his stint at Barcelona, including 10 La Liga titles and 4 Champions League titles among other trophies.
Last season, he netted 51 goals and registered 22 assists in 50 appearances across all competitions as Barca defended their La Liga title.
Back in April, Bartomeu told ESPN that he wanted to extend Messi’s stay at the Camp Nou. Bartomeu said: “We want him to have a really long career so we can keep on enjoying him. Lionel’s managed to break down borders. Everyone admires him and he’s applauded at other stadiums by rival fans.
“We would like to renew his contract, that’s the idea. He is young — you can see that [in his performances] — and he still has two years on his deal. He’s always improving, always innovating. I believe he still has many years in front of him and in the coming months we will sit down with him so that he has many more years at Barcelona.
“Messi is a one-club man. It’s more than what he does on the pitch — his relationship with Barca will last forever. I use the example of Pele, who was always at Santos. We want Messi to always be at Barca, whether that’s playing or linked to the club [when he’s retired].”
Messi is still in fabulous form and there’s no doubt that him signing a new contract will be a major boost for Barcelona.