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Barca Coach Ronald Koeman 'Confident' of Lionel Messi Signing New Contract

Lionel Messi  (AFP)

Lionel Messi (AFP)

Lionel Messi is a free agent and no longer a Barcelona player after his last contract expired at the end of June.

FC Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman said on Friday he was confident that Lionel Messi will sign a new contract with the club.

The Argentinean is technically no longer a Barcelona player after his last contract expired at the end of June and, so far, he has not put pen to paper on a new deal and is free to accept offers from elsewhere.

Barca president, Joan Laporta is continuing to negotiate with the player and his representatives, but the club also has to ensure Messi’s wages don’t breach the salary cap imposed by La Liga and reaching a compromise with the player has so far proved difficult, reports Xinhua.

When asked about Messi’s future during a charity golf tournament, the ‘Koeman Cup’ he is hosting, the coach insisted that he remained optimistic the Argentinean would be a Barca player for the next season.

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“It’s right to be worried when things are not all going well, but I have confidence in the president to solve this question," commented Koeman.

“It is important for the club and for La Liga that the best player in the world stays here and everyone here has to make an effort. Laporta has told me to remain calm and that they are working on the question and we are confident that he (Messi) will be here for several more years," he added.

Barca’s players in the Copa America or the European Championships return to training on Monday. The coach implied he wanted the issue resolved as quickly as possible.

“It is important to know which players I have to work with," said Koeman.

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first published:July 09, 2021, 19:06 IST