Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu reassured supporters on Saturday that the club would renew Leo Messi’s contract.
“There should be no nerves. I want to calm everyone. There are conversations on a personal level and it’s a matter of time. When there is something new we will explain it,” Bartomeu stated in Catalan television.
“Leo wants to be here. We want him to renew and it is very important for the club and for Barca. When two sides understand each other then there has to be a happy ending and I hope he retires in the club.
“I cannot explain the details but we are talking to his people. He is the best player in the world and we want him to stay and he wants to stay. He is happy here. But we have to do everything calmly. The renovation is vital for the club.”
Messi’s present contract in Barca will not serve beyond 2018, which is not more than 12 months if not renew.
Replying to questions on negotiations’ time table, Bartomeu said “The sooner the better. To reassure people I can say that we are talking to Messi on a personal level. He is a spectacular footballer. He is the leader and the best in the world.”
He also disclosed that talks were on over the extensions of the contracts of both keeper Marc Andre ter Stegen and midfielder Ivan Rakitic but said there were still no talks with coach Luis Enrique whose deal ends at the end of this season.
Bartomeu added: “We will not talk with him until April. Next year is being planned by (sporting director) Robert Fernandez and Luis Enrique is focusing on training sessions and matches. Like all supporters we want him to stay.