" Barcelona chief reveals when Lionel Messi will QUIT the club - and how they will cope

Barcelona chief reveals when Lionel Messi will QUIT the club - and how they will cope

That’s the revelation made by Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu.


Messi has been at the Catalan club since the age of 13 and has established himself as one of the greatest players in history, scoring an incredible 605 goals and winning 32 trophies.


The Argentine is contracted at Barca until 2021 but the club are keen to tie him down long-term and are set to offer him an extension.


Speculation has suggested Messi seems reluctant to pledge his future to the club, sparking fears he could be set to quit.


But Bartomeu has eased fears of his departure by reassuring fans he’s still very much got a future at Barca.


“We want him to have a really long career so we can keep on enjoying him,” he told ESPN FC.


“Lionel's managed to break down borders. Everyone admires him and he's applauded at other stadiums by rival fans.”


Bartomeu’s comments come amid news that:


“We are preparing our club for the future, for the time post-Leo.”


Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu

Bartomeu continued: "We would like to renew his contract, that's the idea. He is young - you can see that - and he still has two years on his deal.


“He's always improving, always innovating. I believe he still has many years in front of him and in the coming months we will sit down with him so that he has many more years at Barcelona.”


Messi is a once in a generation player and when he eventually does leave, Barca will be faced with the near-impossible task of replacing him.


But Bartomeu is confident the club have the foundations to be able to cope without their talisman.


He added: "Maybe in three, four or five years, Leo Messi will say: 'OK, I am going to stop playing football.' So we are preparing our club for the future, for the time post-Leo.


“Because we would like to still be the top club at that time. So, it's a way of working, of investing, also of taking risks. We invest in young players, on homegrown players from La Masia, but also on bringing players from other clubs, just to keep this level of excellence.


"Sometimes I explain to members of the club and the board, what we are doing is bringing right now very young players to the club.


“Young players that we think are very talented. [Clement] Lenglet, Ousmane Dembele, Arthur Melo, Frenkie de Jong, Marc-Andre ter Stegen is still very young. There a lot of players that will continue playing after the Messi era."


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