Lionel Messi cuts his holiday short to meet with Ronald Koeman TODAY for talks to decide his future after the new Barcelona manager admitted he may have to ‘convince’ star player to stay
Lionel Messi has dramatically cut short his holiday in order to hold urgent talks with new Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman about his plans to rebuild the crisis-stricken club.
Messi’s future at the Nou Camp is far from certain after Barcelona were ruthlessly thrashed 8-2 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League last week, prompting the departure of Koeman’s predecessor Quique Setien and sporting director Eric Abidal.
And according to Mundo Deportivo, Messi is returning from his family holiday in the La Cerdanya area of the Pyrenees to hear Koeman’s plans for himself.
Lionel Messi is ending his holiday early for talks with new Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman
Koeman has a mammoth rebuilding job on his hands after Barcelona lost 8-2 to Bayern Munich
Upon his unveiling as Barcelona manager, Koeman admitted he could have to convince Messi that his future remains with the club where has spent his entire career so far.
‘I don’t know if I have to convince Messi [to stay],’ he said. ‘He is the best player in the world, and you always want to have him in your team.
‘On my part, as a coach, I love working with Messi because he wins games. If he performs, I’ll be happy if he wants to stay.
‘Starting today, I’ll talk to him. We are going to work and talk with several players. In the case of Messi, hopefully he will continue here for more years.
‘If I say here what I am going to say, it would not be necessary for me to meet with him. I am the coach in order to make decisions.
‘Once again, he has a year left on his contract. He is the important player you want in your team as a coach.’
While Koeman clearly see Messi as part of Barcelona’s future, there are other mainstays of the current squad who are likely to be told to find a new team.
Antoine Griezmann, Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic and Jordi Alba are all expected to be moved on by Koeman as he plots a dramatic overhaul after inheriting the ruins of one of the most emphatic defeats in the club’s fabled history.
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