Former Barcelona manger Cesar Luis Menotti is certain that the club’s star Lionel Messi will stay at Camp Nou amid reports that the athlete will leave Barca next summer. Menotti, who also coached the Argentinian’s national team and led it to triumph during the 1978 Football World Cup, said Messi is more symbolic for the club’s history than Barca’s President Josep Maria Bartomeu.
"It doesn't even cross my mind that they won't fix it. I think they will reach an agreement”, said Menotti commenting on the negotiations on a renewal of Messi’s contract and added that the financial issue is not the main matter in the talks. "Messi doesn't think about the contract when he goes on the pitch. He's still the same on the pitch and in his neighbourhood. I don't think it's a financial problem, I don't understand it".
The decorated manager also touched on Messi’s performance, saying that the athlete is still at his peak. "Messi is still in full swing. It is true that he is no longer an 18-year-old boy, but he is not 50 either. He has a lot of time in front of him still", said Menotti.
His statements come as the Spanish media reported that Messi will leave Barcelona next year when his contract expires in the summer. The athlete is reportedly upset by the club’s unimpressive performance this season, as Blaugrana recently surrendered its first place in La Liga to arch-rivals Real Madrid, which is now four points clear of Barca. Feuds inside the club, as well as confrontation with the club’s officials, are another reason why the 33-year-old allegedly wants to say adios to Camp Nou. Tensions with Barcelona’s board of directors as well as reports in the Spanish press, which accuses Messi of running the club and saying which players to sign and which managers to fire, have led the Argentinian to become fed up with Barcelona, the BBC reported.
Messi’s potential future
He is regarded as one of the best football players in the history of the game, so any major football club would be willing to sign the 33-year old. Recently, Fox Sports journalist Christian Martin claimed that Messi will end up in the English Premier League.
"The possibility of Leo Messi leaving Barcelona and coming to Manchester City is real. This is confirmed by my sources, in Catalonia and England. The sports and extra sports conditions would be positive for all involved. Attention Ladies and Gentlemen", Martin wrote in a post.
Other reports claim that Messi will travel to Italy, where he will join his nemesis Cristiano Ronaldo in Juventus as the club wants to win international trophies.