Barcelona firmly believes that superstar forward Lionel Messi will remain at the club until he retires, says Josep Maria Bartomeu amid conflicting reports over the progress of contract negotiations.
Securing the future of the Argentina captain, whose deal expires in June 2018, is a high priority for the Spanish champion.
Sources close to Messi this week reportedly rejected suggestions that an impasse has been reached in talks between the two parties and club president Bartomeu, speaking at the announcement of a lucrative new shirt sponsorship , indicated that he is "convinced" that the 29-year-old will choose to stay at Camp Nou.
"We are convinced Messi will finish his career [at Barcelona], as it has to happen, he is our leader and we are very relaxed thinking [about] his renewal," he told the press.
"He's the player who has brought us success all these years."
Messi has been speculatively linked with a move to join former coach Pep Guardiola at Manchester City in recent months, while he has previously hinted at the possibility of playing in his native Argentina before hanging up his boots.