Lionel Messi Told new boss That He Is Closer To Leaving Barcelona Than Staying.
During the meeting, Messi is understood to have expressed his displeasure at the club’s situation to Koeman and told the Dutch manager that he “does not see his future at Barcelona clearly” and is leaning towards leaving rather than staying.
Barcelona finished the season trophyless for the first time since 2007/08, with a number of the club’s big money purchases failing to make an impact.
The club’s president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, has also been heavily criticized from within for changing Barcelona’s philosophy, relying heavily on expensive transfers and aging players while neglecting youth and not investing in the club’s hallowed academy, “La Masia.”
Koeman, who was appointed as replacement for the sacked Quique Setien on Wednesday, has insisted he wants Messi to stay and says he sees the 33-year-old as a key part of his plans.
“He is the best player in the world and the best player in the world you want in your team, you don’t want him playing against you,” said Koeman.
“As a coach I would love to work with Messi because he wins matches. If he’s at the ability and level he has always shown I’d be more than happy for him to stay.”
Messi’s current contract with Barcelona, which features a buy-out clause of over $700 million, runs until June 2022.