Brazilian legend Ronaldo has backed Lionel Messi to remain at Barcelona, calling it ‘very unlikely’ that the Argentine will leave the club before the 2020-21 campaign, as per Goal.com.
There has been a lot of talk in the media about the future of the 33-year-old in recent weeks, following the club’s humiliating exit from the Champions League at the hands of Bayern Munich.
Since their European exit, the Spanish side have made huge changes, with both manager Quique Setien and sporting director Eric Abidal getting replaced by Ronald Koeman and Ramon Planes respectively.
Some reports are suggesting that most of the first team, including Luis Suarez, Sergio Busquets, and Jordi Alba, have been put up for sale in the aftermath of their insane 8-2 loss, barring Messi.
The new Dutch manager has emphasized that he wants to work with the Argentina international next season and believes the football legend has every right to be disappointed after their poor campaign.
However, it is said Lionel has told the former Netherlands manager that he sees his future away from the La Liga side.
With the forward’s contract expiring in 2021 and no agreement over his extension yet confirmed, the speculation over his future looks to increase only.
Only some clubs could afford the 33-year-old’s transfer fee, though the player has regularly been linked with Manchester City while PSG and Inter have also been attributed with an interest.
According to the owner of Real Valladolid, a potential transfer is unrealistic in the financial circumstances created by the coronavirus pandemic.
“It is very unlikely that Messi will leave Barcelona, especially with the financial crisis in Europe.
“Messi is the reference of the team and if I was Barcelona I would not let him leave in any case.
“Messi has a very intense relationship with Barcelona, I do not think he will stop being in love with the team. He’s upset, of course, with how they were defeated in the Champions League.
“Messi needs his team-mates to help him, as they do, and Barcelona will have to think of something different for the next seasons. Letting your main player leave is not the solution.”