Barcelona's newly-appointed president Josep Maria Bartomeu has rubbished reports that their star striker Lionel Messi will leave Camp Nou at the end of the season for a possible tie-up with French league giants Paris Saint-Germain. "Lionel Messi is so happy here that I doubt he wants to leave Barcelona. He is a player that was practically born here because he arrived when he was just 13 and I have always heard him say that he wants to finish his career here," Bartomeu said. (Read more)
Bartomeu has also revealed that the club is planning to discuss a new contract with the Argentine. "The club will sit down and negotiate a new contract. We will do what we have to, to ensure he's the best-paid player," the Barcelona president added. (Read full story here)
Messi's father and agent Jorge though called PSG's offer "an honour" but maintained that his son is going nowhere. "I have heard about those rumours and I don't know where it came from," Jorge Messi told L'Equipe.
"It is an honour to know PSG could think about him. But I repeat it is not a subject we want to think about now. There is nothing so far. Lionel is a Barcelona player, where he is under contract for several years (until 2018)," he added. (Read)
The four-time Ballon d'Or winner has struggled to match his last season's goal-scoring ability, when he netted 60 goals in 50 appearances. Messi has scored 18 goals so far this season, although he has provided 36 assists in 20 appearances. He last scored in the Spanish top-flight in September before a hamstring injury sidelined him for five weeks. The 26-year-old has played three matches since his return from injury but has failed to score for the La Liga champions.
However, the striker has found support in Barca coach Gerardo Martino. "He can do everything. If he succeeds in other facets of his game, it doesn't matter if he scores," Martino said.