Messi never gave Coach interview, claims father

By Joe Wright 18 January 2017 155
Messi never gave Coach interview, claims father

Lionel Messi's father Jorge has denied that the Barcelona star gave an interview to Coach magazine, in which he stressed that he does not want to leave the club.

The 29-year-old was quoted as stating that he wants to stay with the Spanish champions for "as long as they want me", according to a wide-ranging interview published this week.

However, his father and agent has now stated that Messi never spoke to the publication, telling Mundo Deportivo: "There is no such interview, it's a lie."

Speculation persists over Messi's future at Camp Nou, with his contract expiring at the end of next season.

President Josep Maria Bartomeu stressed last week that he was not concerned about the prospect of Messi rejecting a new deal, although some reports in Spain have suggested that the Argentina international has become frustrated with the club's apparent unwillingness to open talks swiftly.

Sensitivity around the subject was highlighted last week, when Pere Gratacos was removed from his position as director of Institutional Relations just hours after suggesting that Messi would not be such a decisive player were it not for the strength of the team around him.

Speaking ahead of Barca's Copa del Rey clash with Real Sociedad on Thursday, head coach Luis Enrique was unwilling to address the talk around Messi any further.

"I've spoken in an active and a passive way about renewals," he said.

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Joe Wright