Friday, April 20, 2018

Bartomeu sure Messi will renew, but no Luis Enrique talks

SoccerNews in La Liga 1 Jul 2016


Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu is confident Lionel Messi will extend his contract beyond 2018, but clarified there are no talks with Luis Enrique over the coach’s future.

Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi has claimed 28 titles with Barca, but has just two years remaining on his deal at Camp Nou.

The 29-year-old missed out on a first taste of senior international glory when Argentina were beaten on a penalty shoot-out by Chile in the Copa America Centenario final last weekend.

Messi retired from international football in the wake of the defeat – a fourth loss in as many finals with Argentina – but Bartomeu is confident his future at Barca is more secure.

“We all know Leo Messi. He always wants to win and has decided to quit the national team. It is a very personal topic,” said the president.

“Messi belongs to Barca and we tell him to stay here for as long as he wants, but he is also a global ambassador of football.

“He has two more years on his contract with us and Messi will definitely renew it. We want him to be with us for many more years.”

Luis Enrique will be out of contract at the end of the upcoming campaign, but no talks have taken place over a new deal for the coach who has won seven trophies in his first two seasons at the helm.

“I have not spoken to him. He is doing very well and we would like him to continue,” added Bartomeu.

Bartomeu spoke of his admiration for Palmeiras youngster Gabriel Jesus, who has also attracted reported interest from Real Madrid and Inter.

The 19-year-old has been watched by Barca officials, but the president would not confirm whether a deal to bring him to Catalonia is on the horizon.

“I can say I’ve seen him play for Palmeiras many times and he is great player. But that’s my opinion as a football lover,” said Bartomeu.

“The club will not say anything until something is confirmed. That is not to say whether we are trying to sign him or not.”


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