Bartomeu: I don’t think Messi is on his last Barcelona contract

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu took advantage of his stay in London to discuss his belief that Lionel Messi will remain at the club after his current contract expires.

The renewal of Messi’s deal only came in November, with the previous deal set to expire in June 2018, but the extension to 2021 will mean that the Argentine playmaker will have spent 17 years with the first team.

“We are a club that bets on good football,” said Bartomeu to Bloomberg. “We have a unique style of play and Messi is the best player in the world, our key player.

“Andres Iniesta is an example. We want him here not as a player, but as a legend in the future.

“And with Messi I hope it’s the same.

“Now he’s got a four-year contract, but I don’t think it will be his last [with Barcelona].”

The sale of Neymar from Barcelona this summer appeared to create inflation in the transfer market and Bartomeu is unsure whether things will stabilise or not.

“I would like to say that the market will stabilise, but I am not sure,” said the Barcelona president.

“There are more and more clubs with very wealthy owners and even states that invest in football.

“It is becoming increasingly difficult to go to the market and sign the best players.

“Our strategy is to sign young players, teach them our way of playing and to offer them a chance at playing in our first team.”

Ahead of the summer transfer window, Bartomeu has stated that transfers will be funded by the sale of some current players.

“This season we invested more in transfers due to the sale of Neymar,” said Bartomeu.

“But our strategic plan is to invest a further 60 million euros in the summer from money generated by player sales.”

Furthermore, Bartomeu stated that his next goal in terms of marketing is to secure naming rights for the Camp Nou.

“After signing with Beko, our next goal is to get a sponsor for the naming rights to the Camp Nou,” he continued.

“The total investment [by Beko in training shirt sponsorship] will be 600m euros, the highest that the club has ever done in the city of Barcelona.

“We are working with two or three companies and probably the agreement can contribute to half of the investment.”