The January transfer window is only weeks away and there are rumors flying wild across the world. One of the biggest involves arguably the top player in the world — FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.
The 29-year-old Argentinian star signed with Barcelona when he was just 13-years-old and has said numerous times that he wants to stay with the club. In fact, Spanish newspaper SPORT is reporting that FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has been in contact with Messi’s father and agent, Jorge, about a potential “contract for life.”
— The Sun Football ⚽ (@TheSunFootball) November 26, 2016
Although Lionel’s current contract doesn’t expire until the summer of 2018, Barcelona wants to make sure that the best player in the world is locked up long before then. According to SPORT, Bartomeu and Barcelona are expected to quicken the pace of the contract talks following the club’s match with Real Madrid on Saturday.
Despite Barcelona making every effort to retain Lionel Messi, it hasn’t stopped other clubs from having an interest in acquiring him. Earlier this month, Manchester City was rumored to have interest in acquiring Messi’s services and now the latest club is Paris Saint-Germain, which is led by former Barcelona star Patrick Kluivert.
According to French outlet RTL, Kluivert has been in contact with Jorge about a potential move for Messi to PSG, and he is expected to ramp up his efforts to sign Lionel in coming weeks. RTL also reports that with Kluivert having made his initial move for Messi, “the door could be opened” for a move to Paris. PSG is one of the only clubs in the world with the funds to even contemplate such a move for the Argentine.
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 29, 2016
At least publicly, Messi has had nothing but good things to say about FC Barcelona. In a recent press conference, Lionel told reporters that it’s not just how he performs, but how each guy plays together that makes the group so successful.
“It’s not like that,” Messi said at an Adidas event in Barcelona.
“I’m in the best club in the world, it doesn’t depend on one player. We have a great team and I don’t think about that.”
— Sky Football ⚽️ (@SkyFootball) November 28, 2016
Instead, Lionel Messi believes that success comes with structure and discipline.
“Everything starts with order,” Lionel said. “In today’s football more than ever you need a team that is organised, that knows how it has to move on the pitch,” he added.
“Order is the most important thing.”
To this point in his club career, Messi has played in 548 matches for Barcelona and scored 474 goals, dished out 219 assists, and brought home 29 trophies for the Catalan giants. He’s also currently part of the top attacking line in the world alongside Uruguay’s Luis Suarez and Brazilian star Neymar to which the three have been affectionately named “MSN.”
— Foot Mercato (@footmercato) November 28, 2016
Lionel Messi was involved in a boycott of the press while on international break earlier this month. Messi and his Argentina teammates were upset after a journalist accused Ezequiel Lavezzi of smoking marijuana after a training session to which Lavezzi denied.
“We are here to tell you that we are not going to talk to the press any more – you know why.”
“We have received a lot of accusations and disrespect, but the accusation against Pocho (Lavezzi) is very serious.”
“We are sorry we have to do this…but we’re not going to talk. We know that a lot of you (journalists) are not involved in this, but this is what we’ve decided.”
“You can criticize us if we play well or badly, but getting into one’s private life and such serious accusations – no.”
Lavezzi has said that he will take legal action against the journalist.
[Featured Image by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images]