Messi contract situation ‘not a problem’ for Barcelona, says Koeman
Lionel Messi’s uncertain future is “not a problem” for Barcelona, according to head coach Ronald Koeman.
Six-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi is out of contract at the end of the season. With less than six months remaining on his deal, he is now free to discuss terms with other teams.
Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City continue to be hotly linked with the Argentine. Additionally, Messi has said he would like to one day play in MLS. Nevertheless, the Parisians seem to have stolen a march on their rivals.
With Barcelona’s financial state precarious, Koeman does not seem optimistic about the chance of an extension. However, he says the present uncertainty is not an issue for the club.
“You see what his situation is. He did the interview and said that he has not made any decision,” the Dutchman said, referencing a conversation Messi had with La Sexta late in 2020, in which he indicated he will not make a call over his future until the end of the season.
“It is not a problem that his future is not defined already. We must respect his decision.
“You have to respect him. Any player who is coming to the end of his contract is free to decide. He is a player who will always demonstrate that he wants the best for the team.”
Koeman gives Messi fitness update
Koeman also gave a brief fitness update on Messi, who missed the 1-1 draw with Eibar earlier in the week due to ankle trouble.
“Messi is fine, he has no discomfort. He is ready and is important for us,” the coach said.
Barcelona will face Huesca in La Liga on Sunday.
The Catalans find themselves 10 points off the pace of leaders Atletico Madrid, having played a game more. Anything other than victory against the league’s bottom side would be a disappointing outcome.
This lack of competitiveness is another reason for Messi’s future being the subject of intense speculation.