Barcelona CEO Oscar Grau and president Josep Bartomeu have revealed that the club is planning to offer their golden boy a lifetime contract to keep him at Camp Nou.
Ever since he made his debut for the club on the 16th of October 2004 nearly thirteen odd years ago, Lionel Messi has become a name synonymous with Barcelona. The diminutive Argentine has cemented himself as one of the bonafide legends of the sport, but even more so for Barcelona. Joining the club as a youngster, before going on to make his senior appearance in 2004, the 30 year is closing in on 600 appearances for the club, having scored 522 goals so far in that time.
However, over the last few seasons, the 30-year old’s future at the club has been in doubt especially after the club was eliminated from the Champions League last season by Juventus. However, CEO Oscar Grau has told both fans and board members at the club’s annual general meeting that Messi would be offered the chance to remain at the club for life.
According to reports from Sky Sports, the talisman has already agreed to a brand new four-year deal in July, but he still hasn’t had a sit down with Josep Bartomeu to sign it yet. But the Barcelona president has insisted that negotiations between Lionel Messi and the club have gone as planned and the Argentine will remain at the club.
In an interview, Oscar Grau said “Messi signed a four-year deal in June, but the club will offer him a lifetime contract. The idea is for Leo, who has been here since he was little, to stay here for life as he is an icon. After he finishes playing we want him to remain linked to the club.”
Lionel Messi has now been directly involved in 500 LaLiga goals.
391 games ????
360 goals ⚽️
140 assists ????️
Out of this world. ???? pic.twitter.com/uWJWIiycGl
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) October 21, 2017
The lifetime deal which has been offered to Messi is a similar version to that offered to Andres Iniesta, who has made nearly 640 appearances for the club. The Spaniard’s contract was set to expire next summer along with Lionel Messi, but Iniesta has confirmed his future by signing the new contract put in front of him.
However, Messi hasn’t made any major commitment to the club and there are rumors that the Argentine may opt to run it down his contract which ends in June of 2018, with the likes of Manchester City and even Manchester United very interested in his services.
It’s definitely not worth it for Barcelona to take such a risk with a player like Lionel Messi. The number 10 is arguably one of the best players in world football right now, and despite hitting 30, he hasn’t slowed down, scoring 48 goals last season. The Argentine already has 14 goals in just 12 appearances this season and could be the difference for a club without its infamous attacking trio.