Messi isn’t in Barcelona contract talks but wants to stay for ‘as long as possible’

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Lionel Messi Barcelona Training
The Argentine superstar has sought to play down fears regarding an exit clause in his current terms, with there no plans on his part to leave Camp Nou

Lionel Messi has eased fears regarding an exit clause in his contract at Barcelona, stating that he wants to stay at the club for “as long as possible”, but admits he is not discussing fresh terms.

It has been revealed that the Argentine superstar can walk away from Camp Nou at the end of the season, if he so wishes.

He is tied to a deal through to 2021, but could break that agreement and take on a new challenge if he decides that there is nothing left for him to achieve in Catalunya.

The 32-year-old has offered no indication that he will be making such a bold call any time soon, with it his intention to remain with Barca for the foreseeable future.

Quizzed by Spanish publication Sport on the exit clause and his plans for it, Messi said: “I can’t confirm anything because there are confidentiality agreements in our contracts.

“What I can say is that I want to be at Barcelona as long as possible. I’ve said throughout my career that this is my home.

“But I also don’t want to have a long-term contract and only be here because of it. I want to be here because physically I’m fine, to play and be an important member of the squad.

“And, as I said before, I need to see there’s a winning team because I want to keep winning things at this club.

“For me, money or a clause don’t mean anything. Other things motivate me and the most important thing is having a winning team.”

Lionel Messi Barcelona 2019-20

Messi added when pressed further on whether he would like to work on a rolling 12-month contract which would offer him greater freedom: “My idea is to continue here for as long as I can perform well and my body allows me to do that.

“Afterwards, as I said before, my contract isn’t something that worries me or even something I manage myself.

“My father handles that with the president or whoever he needs to talk to. I only express my thoughts.

“Obviously, I want to win and I want to win at this club. This is my home. I don’t have any intention of going anywhere but I want to keep competing and winning.”

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Barca are understandably keen to get Messi, a five-time Ballon d’Or winner, committed to their cause for as long as possible, with a lifetime contract being mooted.

It has been suggested that talks over fresh terms are underway, but Messi says that is not the case.

He added: “My father handles that but we aren’t talking with Barca. He would have told me if so.”