Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman launched a furious response to suggestions that Lionel Messi could be on his way out of the club before too long. Messi has been linked with a move to Manchester City after Pep Guardiola extended his contract at the Etihad.
Messi has once again been linked with a move to the Etihad just months after trying to force his way out of Barcelona.
During the summer transfer window, it seemed inevitable that he would depart the Nou Camp after spending his entire career in Catalunya.
Messi was left disillusioned with the club’s direction, and was visibly distraught after exiting the Champions League at the hands of Bayern Munich.
Barca were thrashed 8-2 by the eventual champions, with Messi handing in a transfer request just weeks later.
It is believed that he had his heart set on a move to City in order to link up with Guardiola for a second time.
He told Barca that he believed he had taken the option to become a free agent in his contract, and was therefore free to discuss terms with other clubs.
However, La Liga and then-club president Josep Bartomeu insisted that was not the case, meaning Messi was forced to stay put.
His contract is up at the end of the season, meaning he can discuss terms with a new club in January and sign a pre-contract agreement.
And after Guardiola inked a two-year contract extension, that speculation has begun again, and it has been suggested City could secure a swap deal with Eric Garcia to sign him once the winter window opens.
But Koeman clearly believes there is no chance of Messi departing, as he insisted he doesn’t see any scenario where he plays elsewhere.
After being asked about the speculation at his Friday press conference, the Barca boss was stern in his reply.
Koeman said: “No, I don’t see him outside the club and I won’t say any more about this.
“I won’t take any more questions on Leo’s future.”
Messi fuelled speculation that he would look to leave before long earlier this week as he responded to criticism from Antoine Griezmann’s uncle.
The Frenchman has struggled to find his feet since his £108million move from Atletico Madrid, and his uncle claimed the reason is that Barca’s training sessions are tailored to make Messi look good.
But the six-time Ballon d’Or winner responded calmly, by saying: “The truth is that I’m a little tired of always being the problem for everything at the club.”
Source: Read Full Article