Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu indicated that the Spanish champions are prepared to make Lionel Messi the world’s highest-paid player to keep the Argentine superstar at the club.
He told reporters on Tuesday that Leo Messi is the best player in the history of football and they want him to stay with Barcelona. He said that didn’t want to talk about figures but if Messi is the best player in the world , he must be on top from all points of views including economics.
After extending the contracts of Neymar and Luis Suarez until 2021, Barca are desperately bent upon keeping the five-time World Player of the Year, whose deal expires in 2018.
He further said that Messi is completely at home with them and he believed that Messi is also convinced that he is at the best place he can be.
It’s been a stormy year for Messi off the pitch though, with him and his father sentenced to 21 months in jail for tax fraud. Both have appealed the ruling, although the prison sentences are likely to be suspended as is common in Spain for first offences for non-violent crimes carrying a sentence of less than two years.
Barca president also supported Messi on this account, saying that he didn’t believe that the tax affairs will have an influence on a contract extension because he and Messi’s fans and colleagues know that he hasn’t done anything wrong. He further expressed his desire to see the 29-year-old finish his career being part of his club.
He confirmed Barca were keen as well to extend the contracts of captain Andres Iniesta, Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic and goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen in addition to coach Luis Enrique.