Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman is not sure that Lionel Messi will remain at the club next season.
Messi had earlier made attempts to leave on free transfer but Barcelona turned down the request on the ground that any club that wants him must pay the £630m release clause in his contract.
This prompted the Argentine star to complete his contract at Barcelona which ends at the end of 2020/2021 season, to avoid going to court against the “club of his life.”
However, Koeman stated that he is unsure if the 33-year-old will be a Barcelona player next season.
“I was always hoping Messi would stay for this season. If he had left in the summer, I would have had a very different situation at Barca,” The Mirror quotes Koeman as saying.
“He wanted to leave but the club was very clear to him. The buy out clause was so high, that not a single club in the world was going to pay that in these times.
“I went to his house and took time to listen to all the things he said. But I also explained to him that I had not been a part of the problems he had with the club and told him how I was going to work to change things.
“We ended up talking football tactics. It ended as a proper football chat and that convinced me he is a real lover of the game and he still wanted to put everything he has into Barcelona.”
Messi played the full 90 minutes as Barca suffered a surprise 1-0 defeat to Getafe in La Liga on Saturday night.