Lionel Messi may be convinced to stay at FC Barcelona beyond this season, despite Manchester City’s interest, says his former teammate Luis Suárez.
The Barça captain tried to force his exit from the club in the closing season, but then agreed to stay until his contract ends in June 2021.
The 33-year-old Argentine forward revealed his frustration with the club’s leadership and lack of planning, but said he would give it his all this season.
Messi, FC Barcelona’s all-time top scorer, is free to negotiate with other clubs from January, including Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, who are interested in luring him to Manchester.
“Maybe there is the possibility that he will play for another club, but if he feels comfortable and happy, and a new board enters, he will want to stay at the club,” said the Atlético de Madrid forward Suárez.
“As a friend, I’ll be happy if he does well (at Barça), but also if he goes to another club.”
The president of FC Barcelona, Josep Maria Bartomeu, has called club elections for March 2021.
But he could be ousted sooner, with a vote of no confidence to be cast against him and the board.
Messi will not be short of suitors if he decides to leave the Camp Nou.
Manchester City COO Omar Berrada left the door open for the forward in an interview.
“It is almost impossible to guess what will happen next summer,” Berrada said.
“Messi is a generational talent. He is the best player in the world and probably an exception to the possible investments that we would make out of the ordinary.
“For each position we have to be prepared, because there are so many things that can happen.
“But at the same time I think we have the financial strength and the ability to make that investment (for a forward), when necessary.”