Barca president makes declaration on Messi’s future

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has said that captain Lionel Messi will not leave the club next year and will end his career at the Camp Nou.

A report emerged last week that the Argentine star no longer wishes to renew his contract which expires in June 2021 and he has stopped negotiations for a new deal.

Speaking on Spanish network Movistar after his side beat Villarreal 4-1 away on Sunday in LaLiga, Bartomeu said: “Messi has said he will end his working and footballing life at Barca.

“I’m not going to explain the details because we are focused on the competition and we are negotiating with many players, but Messi has explained to us that he wants to stay and so we’re going to enjoy him for much longer.”

Messi, 33, is said to have grown frustrated with the direction of the club, and he wants out. He has also had disagreements with the board, reacting publicly when sporting director Eric Abidal appeared to blame the players for the sacking of Ernesto Valverde in January.