Barcelona president rules out possibility of Messi leaving for free

With Barcelona showing signs of weakness this season, many have speculated whether Lionel Messi might leave the club. It was revealed a while back that the Argentine ace has a clause in his contract which could allow him to leave for free next summer, but the club president has squashed that possibility.

While the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has publicly confessed his desire to finish his career at Camp Nou, he also admitted that he wishes to be at a club that is competitive. Valverde’s side top La Liga and their Champions League group but abysmal displays this term show that they are unlikely to end their wait for another European title.

Hence speculation of an exit. Would he leave the club if they suffer another embarrassing Champions League exit and miss out on La Liga? According to Josep Bartomeu, the answer is no.

The Barcelona president tipped that the iconic Argentine could remain in Catalonia for another five years, which would mean playing for the Spanish champions until the age of 37. He said (as per The Sun): “Surely it will be the wish of all parties, if Messi feels strong and ambitious, to extend this contract indefinitely.

"He has earned the right to decide when he will stop playing football. But like I said a few weeks ago, he wants to finish his playing career at Barcelona.

"Our leader will continue to be Messi. There is no doubt that he is still young, still strong and he is still ambitious.

"So Leo will still play with us for the next two, three, four or five years. I have no doubts about that."

Leo continues to show why he is considered one of the greatest of all time, scoring nine goals and assisting five in 11 appearances. This is despite the fact that he has been restricted to only 840 minutes on the pitch due to injuries early on in the season.

He recently scored a hat-trick to guide the Blaugrana to a 4-1 win over Celta Vigo in the league, scoring two free-kicks and a penalty. However, his current contract with the club is set to expire in 2021, hence the urgency to tie him down to a renewal.

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