“With Messi we talk, we have talked, and we will talk,” Bartomeu told Mundo Deportivo. “He is the best player in football history, he has years of football ahead, and he is in top form.”
The Barcelona president also distanced the club from purchasing Neymar and discussed Quique Setién’s future with the club.
Barcelona President Confirms Intrest in Lautaro Martinez While Discussing Lionel Messi’s Future
Lionel Messi and a Barcelona Contract Extension
During the interview with Mundo Deportivo, Bartomeu seemed confident of Barcelona’s ability to secure a contract extension with Lionel Messi. The reigning Balon D’or winner’s deal expires in 2021.
Messi has played his entire career with Barcelona and scored a whopping 630 goals in 727 appearances. He has also won every trophy possible with the club. But in recent times, Barça have struggled to replicate their earlier success. This has led to rumours that Messi may want to leave Barcelona.
However, Bartomeu seemed to pour cold water over any talk of Messi leaving with this interview.
“I do not have any doubt that he will continue at Barça, his future is here in football and after football,” said the Barcelona President.
Lautaro Martinez Intrest and Neymar Distancing
Bartomeu also confirmed that the club had held talks with Inter Milan over striker Lautaro Martinez. The Argentine has had a good season with Inter and scored 17 goals in all competitions.
With the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the finances of football clubs, it seems that enormous transfers could be a thing of the past, at least temporarily.
Barcelona was particularly hit hard by the pandemic and was even reportedly considering slashing players’ wages by 70 percent. This situation is likely why Bartomeu distanced the club from acquiring Neymar.
He was unequivocal when asked about a potential transfer for the Brazilian star.
Quique Setién’s Future and Xavi
Bartomeu also confirmed that the club wants manager Quique Setién to fulfill his contract. Setién has been criticized for his team’s performance in the league, where Real Madrid seem set to win the title.
He has also confirmed that the manager has been heavily involved with planning for next season.
But, the president did offer one interesting comment about a return for Xavi.
“Xavi will be the coach of Barça sooner or later,” he said.
Xavi is a Barcelona legend who was considered one of the best midfielders in the world. The Spaniard is currently managing in Qatar, but it’s hard to see that he would be ready for a club like Barcelona any time soon.