14:22 GMT16 April 2021
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    Relations between the Argentine and the club have soured over the past year due to feuds with Barcelona's president and staff. The superstar even filed a transfer request that was subsequently rejected by the club. The situation appears to have improved under the new manager, but rumours about Messi's exit continue unabated.

    Lionel Messi is much more open about the idea of staying in Barcelona, the Spanish newspaper Marca reported, citing source close to the club. According to the outlet, people close to Messi have not ruled out this option. Marca wrote that the athlete’s more than half-billion-dollar contract with Barca is not an incentive to stay at Camp Nou, as the Argentine has never been motivated by money.
    Per the outlet, the athlete never asked the club’s bosses to give him a huge salary (the Spanish newspaper El Mundo claimed his current contract is worth $665 million). It was Barcelona officials who offered him such a deal, the newspaper wrote.

    According to Marca, the athlete wants to be part of a strong project that wins titles, emphasising that the 33-year-old has not yet made a decision on whether to extend his contract with Barcelona. The athlete’s father Jorge, who is also his agent, has reportedly not received any offers.

    Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City are considered the favourites in the race to nab the six-time winner of Ballon d’Or, although clubs such as Manchester United and Juventus are said to be too eager to purchase the player.

    Previously, Messi said he wouldn’t make a decision about his future at Camp Nou until he has had a conversation with the club’s new president. Elections for Barcelona’s new president will be held on 7 March.

    football, Barcelona, Lionel Messi
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