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Koeman admits Messi ‘concern’ as Barcelona contract saga continues

Lionel Messi, Ronald Koeman, FC Barcelona
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FC Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman has opened up on Lionel Messi’s contract situation and on the need for clarity ahead of the new season.

Barcelona’s struggles to tie Lionel Messi down to a new contract so far has left Ronald Koeman ‘concerned’.

The pressure to convince Messi to sign a new deal is greater than ever at Camp Nou. The six-time Ballon d’Or winner is officially a free agent, meaning he can sign for any club no matter what.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has claimed ‘everything is on the right track’ for a new contract. The club’s financial problems, however, suggest otherwise. Reports have claimed costs need to be cut, sparking rumors that several players could leave to reduce the salary bill.

“When everything is not right, you have to be concerned, I have confidence in the president [Joan Laporta] to solve this issue,” said Koeman at a golfing event as per Goal.

“It is important for the club and for the league that the best player in the world remains. Everyone has to make an effort here.

“Laporta told me to be calm, that they are working on the issue and we are confident that he will be there for a few more years.”

To ease the financial burden, Barcelona have offered to free Samuel Umtiti and Miralem Pjanic from their contracts. The Blaugrana are also reportedly open to offers for Philippe Coutinho and perhaps even Antoine Griezmann.

On the squad’s need for clarity, Koeman said: “It is important to know which players you are going to have.

“We know there is a limit, we are in the pre-season and work is being done, but we already know that it’s like this until the end and we are used to it.”