Barcelona board ‘divided’ over Lionel Messi as star continues to consider future

Barcelona board members are reportedly split down the middle with regards to Lionel Messi's future – with some open to the idea of selling six-time Ballon d'Or winner this summer.

Messi has been the subject of huge speculation since his side's humiliating 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League last week, with rumours suggesting that he may seek to leave the club in the near future.

There has already been a number of big changes at Barcelona since that embarrassing night in Lisbon, with manager Quique Setien being replaced by Ronald Koeman and director Eric Abidal leaving.

Messi is said to be still carefully considering his options, but according to ESPN some influential figures behind the scenes think the time may be right to sell the star.

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The 33-year-old's contract expires next summer, meaning he could leave on a free transfer in June, whereas he would command a huge transfer fee if he were to move on before the close of the window in a few weeks time.

The squad is likely to receive a huge overhaul before next season, with a number of senior members of the squad expected to move on, and there is also belief among some that getting Messi's astronomical wages off the books would help Koeman bring in the players he wants.

There is also a theory among some that Messi holds too much power at the club, and the time may be right for a fresh start without him.

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Others, however, are desperate to keep him, given that he is arguably Barcelona's most valuable asset both on and off the pitch.

The likes of Manchester City and Manchester United have been linked with a possible swoop for the player, and it will certainly be intriguing to see what he decides to do over the coming months.

He is known to have already met with Koeman for a one-on-one chat, with reports stating he told the Dutchman he sees himself more out than in at Barcelona.

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