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BARCELONA

Bartomeu: "We have to think about the post-Messi era"

The post-Messi era is drawing closer to reality, something for which Barcelona is now preparing with the acquisition of new players, says president Josep Bartomeu.

Bartomeu: "We have to think about the post-Messi era"
LLUIS GENE AFP

Lionel Messi’s current contract with Barcelona expires in 2021, but the club is expected to offer him a new four-year deal which would see him remain at Camp Nou until he is 36.

It will be his tenth renewal since he reached the first team in 2004. And with the Argentine superstar having turned 32 in June, the post-Messi era is drawing closer to reality, something for which Barcelona is now preparing with the acquisition of new players, says president Josep Bartomeu.

“We think it is our obligation to work on the post-Messi era,” Bartomeu told Reuters.

“We are thinking about a post-Messi era because we are bringing in new players... We have to think about this changing era when Messi will give up playing football but, as president, I hope that he is going to be (have) very large years playing with us still.”

Lionel Messi

Messi could be offered Iniesta-style lifetime Barca contract

Bartomeu will be expected to sit down with Messi over the course of the season to discuss a new deal that could closely resemble the lifetime contract signed by Andres Iniesta, who left the club to play for Japanese side Vissel Kobe last summer.

Such a contract would enable him to leave Barça when he wanted to retire or try a new experience in another country, and then later return to the club to fill an ambassador or coaching role.