Lionel Messi news: Barcelona chief Eric Abidal delivers contract update with conditions | Football | Sport


Barcelona and Lionel Messi have started negotiations over a possible new contract at the Nou Camp.

Eric Abidal, former fan favourite and current technical secretary at Barcelona, has opened up on contract talks concerning his former team-mate.

The Argentina international’s current agreement is set to run out in the summer of 2021, but the Catalan giants aren’t willing to take their chances.

Abidal has now offered supporters hope that an announcement could be made before the end of the current season, amid links with David Beckham’s Inter Miami, and mentioned why the player himself and his environment are crucial.

He told Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo: “They are already talking.

“I do not know if we will have news soon, because the decision will depend on the player and his environment.

“For us, as a club, I hope it closes as soon as possible.

“It will be known when it will be known, but I am positive.”

Messi made his Barcelona debut back in 2004 and has gone on to score 612 goals in 698 outings for the first-team.

The 32-year-old has been happy to ply his trade in Catalonia throughout his professional career, despite criticism coming his way from Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Portugal forward has now won league titles in England, Spain and Italy, and could become only the second player to win the Champions League with three different teams, the first being Clarence Seedorf.

“I’d like him to come to Italy one day,” said Ronaldo earlier last December.

“I hope he accepts the challenge like me, but if he’s happy there then I respect that.”

“I’ve played in England, Spain, Italy, Portugal and for my national team, while he’s still in Spain.

“Maybe he needs me more. For me, life is a challenge, I like it and I like to make people happy.

“He’s a fantastic player and a good guy, but I don’t miss anything here. This is my new life and I’m happy.”

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