Newly-appointed Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman is not sure whether he will have the privilege of working with Lionel Messi next season
Koeman replaced Quique Setien at the helm of Barcelona following the Catalans’ humiliating 8-2 Champions League elimination to Bayern Munich.
However, the future of the club stalwart Lionel Messi is hanging in the balance after the Argentinean reportedly requested to leave Camp Nou after 24 years.
Arrived at the club age eight, the 33-year-old has spent his entire professional career in Catalonia becoming the symbol of Barca’s successes over the past two decades.
Although he seemed to be heading towards a single-club career until a year ago, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner is reportedly keen to leave the ‘Blaugrana’ after falling out with the club hierarchy.
In addition to Setien, the Spanish heavyweights have also relieved sporting director Eric Abidal of his duties as part of their bid to keep Messi beyond the summer.
But, Ronald Koeman has thrown left-footed forward’s future at Camp Nou into further doubt, releasing a worrying statement.
“I don’t know if I have to convince Messi,” Koeman admitted to reporters, as relayed by the Daily Mirror.
“He is the best player in the world, and you want the best player in the world in your team, not on the other side.
“For my part, I would love to work with Messi. He wins football matches, and I would be really happy if he decides to stay.
“He has a contract. He has one year left. He is a Barcelona player.”
Messi has one year remaining on his contract at Barcelona and has been heavily linked with a move to either Manchester City or Inter Milan.