Lionel Messi has hinted he will not be signing a lucrative lifetime deal with Barcelona, offering hope to any clubs who are aiming to acquire the living legend before he calls time on his playing career.
Barca chiefs were readying themselves to offer the deal to their greatest ever player, which would ensure he finishes his football in Catalonia.
Messi’s current existing deal still has two years to run but Barca are confident that the 32-year-old can still play at his prime beyond the upcoming 2022 World Cup.
Speaking this week, however, Messi has given comment on the situation, confirming the deal was offered but suggested he does not want to sign something which ties him down for good.
Messi made a rare public appearance on Argentine radio station Metro 95.1, to feature on the ‘dogs of the street‘ broadcast.
On it, Messi said: ‘It is true that Barcelona proposed me a contract for life, but what I said was that I do not want a contract that binds me like that.
‘I want to be fine to continue playing and to continue fighting for goals here. Being here I can be for life, but not with a contract. Here I would stay a lifetime.’
Messi had recently spectacularly revealed that he wanted to quit Barca during his tax row with the Spanish government – and it was only a lack of offers from elsewhere that kept him at the club.
Speaking in an interview with RAC1, the Argentine said: ‘At that time, with the mess of the treasury, I wanted to leave, not for wanting to leave Barca but wanting to leave Spain.
‘I felt that I was being very mistreated and I didn’t want to stay here. I never had an official offer because everyone knew my idea to stay here.’