Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman said the club will do everything they can to convince Lionel Messi to stay following meetings with new president Joan Laporta to plan for next season.
Koeman met with Laporta, who was elected in March, during the international break to discuss Messi’s future and possible summer signings. Laporta later met with Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland’s agent, Mino Raiola, and the player’s father, too.
Messi, 33, is out of contract in June and has not yet decided on his next move. He wanted to leave Barca last year under the previous regime but there is renewed hope he will stay following improved performances on the pitch and the return of Laporta, who was previously the president at Camp Nou between 2003 and 2010.
“It is a really important issue and we will do everything we can for Leo to spend many more years at this club,” Koeman said in a news conference yesterday when asked if the club would set Messi a deadline.
“But, at the moment, it’s not about next season, it’s about [Monday’s] game against Real Valladolid. The president and his people can deal with the future.
“As I said a couple of weeks ago, we took advantage of the international break to have a meeting with the president and the board to speak about this season and next season. It happens at all clubs in the world, but the players and I are focused on our upcoming games.”