Lionel Messi transfer: Barcelona star responds to speculation he could leave Nou Camp for free next year

The Argentine is yet to feature this season with Barcelona enduring a faltering start to their La Liga title defence

Jack Rathborn
Thursday 12 September 2019 07:07
Comments
Messi plays football on beach with British youngster

Lionel Messi insists he is happy to stay at Barcelona but only while they are a ‘winning team’ with the Champions League especially important to him.

The Argentine suffered disappointment last season with the Spanish giants losing heavily at Anfield as Liverpool defeated them in the semi-finals to ensure it will now be five years without lifting the European Cup.

Messi is currently dealing with a calf injury and has failed to feature so far this season. But the 32-year-old responded to Josep Maria Bartomeu revealing the No 10 could leave the Nou Camp for free at the end of the season due to a clause in his contract, refusing to deny the report but underlining his willingness to continue at the club while the team is competitive.

“I can’t confirm anything because there are confidentiality agreements in our contracts. What I can say is that I want to be at Barcelona as long as possible,” Messi told Spanish newspaper Sport.

“I’ve said throughout my career that this is my home. But I also don’t want to have a long-term contract and only be here because of it.

“I want to be here because physically I’m fine, to play and be an important member of the squad. And as I said before, I need see there’s a winning team because I want to keep winning things at this club. For me, money or a clause don’t mean anything. Other things motivate me and the most important thing is having a winning team.

“It’s clear I would like to win the Champions League because it’s been a long time since I last did that. As a club, and on a personal level, we must win the Champions League.”

Bartomeu revealed last week that Messi has been handed freedom over his future with two years remaining on his contract.

“Messi has a contract that we signed two years ago and it runs for four years,” said the Barcelona president. “Before the last season, 2020-21, he can leave Barcelona, retire from football or play where he likes,” explained Bartomeu.

“Iniesta, Xavi and Puyol also had those clauses. For those players and Leo Messi, we don’t need to worry. I doubt he’d want to play for another club, but he has earned liberty over his future. He’s a big Barca fan and I have no doubt he’ll want to continue until 2021 and we hope another year too.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in