New Barcelona head coach Ronald Koeman said he does not know if he will have to “convince” Lionel Messi to stay at the club.
Koeman, 57, has signed a two-year deal with Barca, two days after the club sacked Quique Setien. Messi’s future at the Nou Camp is uncertain after they failed to win a trophy last season for the first time since 2007-08.
“He’s still got a contract and is still a Barcelona player,” said Koeman.”At this point I need to speak to him because he is the captain. We need to work with him and speak with various players. We need to make some decisions but in Messi’s case I hope he stays with us.
“I don’t know if I have to convince Messi [to stay], whether it’s that or not. He is the best player in the world and the best player in the world you want in your team, you don’t want him playing against you.
“As a coach I would love to work with Messi because he wins matches. If he’s at the ability and level he has always shown I’d be more than happy for him to stay.”