The Argentina international’s contract expires at the end of next year but his former team-mate expects him to extend his stay at Camp Nou.
Barcelona legend Samuel Eto’o is convinced Lionel Messi will extend his contract and spend the remainder of his career at the club.
Argentine icon Messi, who combined Barcelona’s youth program at age 13, stays the Catalan side’s most productive player, having scored 24 goals and provided 15 assists in 31 appearances this year.
The 32-year-old’s contract with the Primera Division costume expires at the end of June 2021, but Eto’o is convinced six-time Ballon d’Or winner will commit to the club for a couple more years.
“He can extend his contract in Barcelona. He still has the legs to go for it,” Eto’o told.
“I think he will finish his career at Barcelona and when he believes he can do it then he can do it.”
Speculation surrounding Messi’s future seemed last month after it was reported Manchester City expected to sign him for free as a result of a clause in his contract that would let him leave the club at the end of any year, while David Beckham’s MLS franchise Inter Miami was touted as yet another possible destination.
Meanwhile, he’s been linked with a return to Argentina to see out his playing days with boyhood team Newell’s Old Boys.
The doubt was triggered by Messi’s public struggle with athletic director Eric Abidal after he criticised the group for their performances this year while the attacker was amazed by claims Barca hired a PR firm that generated social media reports to tarnish his reputation in addition to those of some of his team-mates.
However, Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu insisted last week that he’s convinced they can convince their prized asset to play out the rest of his career at Camp Nou.
“Messi is the best player in the world,” Bartomeu said when asked about Messi’s contract situation. “There is no need to explain anything – I’ve done so many times previously.
“Messi will last at Barca and Messi will retire at Barca. I don’t have the impression he’s feeling lonely. I know lots of people have said that, but I do not think it’s the situation.”