Barcelona star Lionel Messi has made up his mind on his future at the club amid the on-going controversy at Camp Nou. According to Sky Sports, Messi has decided that he will continue at his boyhood club. He is tied with the Catalans until 2021.
Lionel Messi was involved in a controversy with club president Josep Bartomeu and sporting director Eric Abidal. There were rumours of the Argentine looking to secure a move away from Camp Nou at the end of the current season. However, the player has now made up his mind to stay at the club and is also negotiating to extend his stay.
Disappointed by the undeserved elimination in the Copa but proud of the ambition and attitude. Congratulations to Athletic and to the fans who made the trip to support us. Confidence is total in the coaching staff and the players who will battle to the end in the league & UCL— Josep Maria Bartomeu (@jmbartomeu) February 6, 2020
Eric Abidal had recently criticised former manager Ernesto Valverde as well as club legend Xavi over managerial changes at Barcelona. He had also slammed certain players of the squad for lack of efforts on the field. Lionel Messi responded to the criticism by asking Abidal to mention the names.
There were also reports in Spain that Lionel Messi wanted the resignation of president Josep Bartomeu or he would prefer to leave the club. Messi was rumoured to be linked with Manchester City due to his proximity with manager Pep Guardiola. The duo had worked together at Barcelona, winning several accolades in their four seasons together (2008-12).
There were reports that Messi’s contract had a special clause which allowed the player to leave the club at the end of the current season as a free agent. This led to rumours that Manchester City, Manchester United, Inter Milan and Juventus would try to bid for the six-time Ballon d’Or winner’s signature. However, recent reports put to rest all the rumours.
HIGHLIGHTS | Copa del Rey Quarterfinal | Athletic 1 – 0 Barça#ICYMI, we played well and deserved to win, but football is a game of millimeters and sometimes the ball doesn't bounce your way ... WE SHALL RETURN! 💪🔵🔴 pic.twitter.com/oiz9lQ96zx— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) February 7, 2020
Lionel Messi-led Barcelona were knocked out of Copa del Rey by Athletic Bilbao in the quarter-final round. The Catalans are also trailing in LaLiga, courtesy of Real Madrid’s three-point lead over the defending LaLiga Champions. Barcelona will next play against Real Betis on Sunday.