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Barcelona to offer Lionel Messi 'job for life' to keep him out of Man City's clutches

Last updated 1 month ago | By Mirror

La Liga Santander - Atletico Madrid v FC Barcelona - Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid, Spain - November 21, 2020 Barcelona's Lionel Messi reacts [REUTERS/Sergio Perez]

Barcelona will offer Lionel Messi a job for life to stop him signing for Manchester City.

Presidential candidate Victor Font has revealed he has a plan to keep the Argentine legend at the Nou Camp by giving him a “winning project” and a role “beyond the days he is on the pitch.”

Messi is wanted by City boss Pep Guardiola next summer, and his future is a battleground in club elections deciding who takes charge.

Messi has won ten La Liga titles and four Champions' Leagues in his 16 years at Barca and scored 640 goals, but is unsettled, and wanted to leave last summer.

City could also offer him a long term role in their global football group.

Font says he has a plan for Messi whose contract expires next summer, adding: “What Messi needs in order to stay at the club is a competitive project. He wants to win - obviously the lack of a project in recent times has affected the way we compete.

“For us, the association between Barca and Messi is very strategic. He's been at the club since he was 13 and we believe that this association needs to go even beyond the days that he's on the pitch (post retirement).”

Barcelona's Lionel Messi in action with Atletico Madrid's Mario Hermoso [REUTERS/Sergio Perez]

Asked about City's chances of signing him he said: "Every time [City coach] Pep Guardiola speaks about this, he says it very clearly that he believes that Messi should stay at Barca and that he's a Barca one-club man. He wishes that he finishes his career at FC Barcelona.

“We know that's a possibility because he said he wanted to leave last summer but we are hopeful. The elections are coming in 60 days and we will have a new board and a new president and a new project.”

Font says Xavi, a player for 17 years, is his choice as head coach if he wins, with orders to emulate Sir Alex Ferguson. He added: “We decided (Xavi) is the best person to lead the project in years to come.

"We saw he has unique leadership skills and unique team management skills. We see him as a key figure, taking more of a general manager type of role.

"It's what Alex Ferguson was at Manchester United. The hope is that a legend that has all these skills, like Xavi, can play a similar role in the years to come at FC Barcelona."

Barca are having their worst start to a season for 29 years, 10th in La Liga after eight games, leaving coach Ronald Koeman under the cosh.

But Fong says the Dutchman is not shirking his duties, adding: "He took responsibility during difficult times which says a lot about him. I like the fact he is giving opportunity to youth talent. I'm hoping good results come back. I'm confident we can win silverware.”

 

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