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Barcelona ‘obliged’ to renew Lionel Messi, Quique Setien ‘will continue’ - Bartomeu

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The president has been talking about some key issues

Villarreal CF v FC Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Joan Valls/Urbanandsport /NurPhoto via Getty Images

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu spoke to RAC1 on Tuesday morning and was asked about the futures of both captain Lionel Messi and manager Quique Setien.

Cadena SER reported last week Messi is angry at Barcelona and has halted contract talks with a view to walking away at the end of next season.

Yet Bartomeu remains confident the Argentine will put pen to paper on a new deal.

“It’s true he [only] has a contract until June 2021. We don’t like to explain situations usually but it’s obvious that we’re obliged to renew Messi’s deal,” he said.

“He’s the best player ever. He’s got many years of football left ahead of him. Leo has said many times that he wants to retire at Barcelona — and I don’t have any doubt that he will. And not with me, but with another president.”

Bartomeu also continued to back Quique Setien despite speculation arising that the coach may not continue next season if he finishes the current campaign empty-handed.

“Quique will continue. I’m happy with the evolution that has been shown in these games despite the draws. I’ve seen an improvement in recent games and I hope it continues that way. If we don’t win La Liga, there’s still the Champions League.

“I don’t regret the change from Valverde. The team needed to be given new impetus. Setien is a firm defender of the Barca model and has a DNA that fits. He’s brought new ideas and is working hard.”

The Barcelona president also spoke about the possibility of Xavi returning and said he expects the former midfielder to manage the club “one day.”