Lionel Messi has finally made a decision over his future with Barcelona, as the Argentinian talisman has apparently decided he won’t be activating an exit clause in his contract next summer and instead would prefer to stay and negotiate a new deal with the Catalans.
This exit clause allows Messi to leave the Camp Nou in the summer if he wishes to do so, regardless of whether Barcelona want him to or not. It had been rumored that Lio could use this clause for 'non-elite clubs' in order to seal a return to Argentina with Newell's Old Boys to finish his career.
These practices aren’t uncommon, as several other Barcelona’s stars have been afforded similar escape routes as a thanks for their service. Xavi left for Al-Sadd in 2015, while Andres Iniesta joined Vissel Kobe in 2018.
However, Marca report that won’t happen next summer, as Messi isn’t weighing any move away from Catalonia. Instead, he wants to negotiate a new contract with the club, but he wants to wait until next season to do so.
That will be good for Barcelona, who are eager to offer Messi a lifetime contract to keep him tied to the club even after he hangs the boots.
"Surely it will be the wish of all parties, if he [Messi] feels strong and ambitious, to extend this contract indefinitely," Josep Maria Bartomeu said (via Sky Sports News).
"Ultimately it is he who must decide. He has earned the right to decide when he will stop playing football. But like he said a few weeks ago, he wants to finish his playing career at Barcelona.
"Over the next two or three seasons our leader will continue to be Leo Messi. There's no doubt that he is still young, still strong. He is still ambitious. So Leo Messi will still play with us for the next two, three, four or five years. I have no doubts about that."
Messi has shown his happiness in Spain every time he had the chance, so it would be odd to see him leave Barcelona just like that. He’s lived there since he was 13 and is playing as good as ever, so there are no reasons to think he’d like to leave Spain.