Tuesday’s victory over Juventus has seen Barcelona enter calmer waters following a summer of discontent, and there is also good news regarding Lionel Messi as president Josep Maria Bartomeu has confirmed the Argentine is already playing under the terms of his new contract.
There had been an element of concern in recent weeks over the future of the forward given the fact his signature was not yet present on the previously announced extension.
Los Cules hit back and suggested that the signature of Messi’s father made the contract binding, something which Bartomeu once again pointed towards on Thursday in an interview with ‘Fora de Joc’ on 8TV.
“We will take the photo with Messi’s signature, hopefully before the end of the year, but the contract has been signed by his father, who has the power of his image rights. This contract is signed until 2022 and he is already playing under it,” he explained.
The controversy surrounding Andres Iniesta’s own contract renewal has been significant too, Bartomeu’s insistence that an agreement had been reached were quite bluntly rebuffed by the player.
When quizzed on the topic of the Blaugrana’s veteran midfielder, the 54-year-old made clear that plans were in place to keep Iniesta at the Camp Nou, which includes some special aspects within the agreement, just for the Spanish international.
“The agreement with Iniesta will be special, it will be different just because it is him, I won’t reveal exactly what because it is part of private negotiations, but with Ramon Sostres, we have been talking for a long time.
“Nobody can argue against the importance of the 33-year-old to Barcelona supporters, he is a symbol of the club and this hasn’t been lost on the president.
“Iniesta isn’t just a reference point for us, but also for the young supporters, he has earned the right to play here until he decides not to anymore, Andres is critical to this club and the intention is that this extension will be an indefinite contract so that he can finish whenever he desires.”
A transfer to the Camp Nou is now even more unlikely with Bartomeu suggesting that it was the market inflation which prevented the club from closing a deal in the summer.
“If the market does not allow a move, then you can’t force one, the market is changing sizably because there is money coming into it that isn’t from the world of football,” he intimated.
The club’s transfer business as a whole was a source of frustration for supporters, with only Paulinho, Ousmane Dembele and Nelson Semedo arriving as first-team players, yet the club chief has no regrets over the Blaugrana’s summer dealings.
“I have no frustration with how the transfer period went, I’m very happy with our signings, we wanted a good right-back and Semedo arrived, Paulino arrived in midfield and Dembele as a Neymar replacement, I’m also delighted about Deulofeu’s return,” he concluded.