Koeman begs Messi to stay at Barcelona as he says 'he can have no doubts about future of team' despite Euro exit
RONALD KOEMAN has begged Lionel Messi to stay at Barcelona, telling the superstar he can have ‘no doubts about the future of the team’.
Messi, 33, is out of contract this summer and expected to call time on his incredible Nou Camp adventure.
The Argentine tried and failed to quit last summer for a stunning reunion with old boss Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.
The Premier League leaders are reportedly ready to resurrect their interest come the end of the season.
And Barca’s hopes of keeping Messi took another huge hit this week as they crashed out of the Champions League.
The Spaniards were hammered 5-2 on aggregate in the last-16 by Paris Saint-Germain, who have also been linked with Messi.
But Koeman hopes the Argentine can be convinced to remain put due to the quality of upcoming youngsters including Pedri (18), Sergino Dest (20) and Riqui Puig (21).
Established first-team stars like Frenkie de Jong, 23, also have plenty of years left ahead.
And Barca still plan on making more signings this summer, with the likes of Bayern Munich’s David Alaba, as well as Man City duo Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia, linked with free transfers.
The re-election of former president and Messi favourite Joan Laporta could also be crucial in the forward’s thinking.
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Koeman said: “In general, Leo has seen that the team is getting better and better.
“With the changes we’ve made, bringing in young players, Messi can have no doubts about the future of this team.
“[Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo out of Champions League?] I don’t know if Leo will be annoyed.
“It’s a shame because they are two great players, but you have to accept it. As for Leo’s future, it’s up to him to decide. Nobody can help him.
“He has seen for a long time that there is a lot of promise in this team. That’s not going to be an argument for him not to stay.”
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