FC Barcelona News

Ronaldinho Insists Lionel Messi "Must Stay at Barcelona"

By Amreen
Messi is yet to renew his deal with Barcelona
Messi is yet to renew his deal with Barcelona / David Ramos/Getty Images

Ronaldinho has insisted that Lionel Messi must stay at Barcelona, claiming the Argentine is in a position where he can ensure "nobody will touch" the No10 shirt at Camp Nou again.

Messi inherited the iconic shirt from the Brazilian in 2008, who is delighted to see the six-time Ballon d'Or winner raising the bar and wants to see contractual issues sorted out. Messi is currently a free agent after his contract expired last month, and is yet to agree to a new deal.

Ronaldinho, who spent five years at Camp Nou, told TuttoMercatoWeb: "He must stay, he is the history of Barca. When Messi retires, which I hope will be in a long time, he can leave the No 10 there and nobody will touch it again."

Barca president Joan Laporta, who is trying to get Messi tied down before the start of the season, recently provided an update on the ongoing negotiations. He said: “The player has always said he wants to stay on and we are making good progress with the negotiations. [Rafael] Yuste and [Mateu] Alemany are working very hard.

"What we all want is for Messi to stay at Barça. To stay for a lot of years and play alongside such talented footballers as Depay. We are very satisfied with the attitude being shown by both parties, which an operation like this needs. Leo is on holiday right now, but he has a whole team working to get him a contract that suits everyone."

Barca also need to need to offload a number of players in order to balance their wage bill, without with they won't be able to register any of the new signings for the new season. Memphis Depay is one of three free-agent signings Barca have already acquired this summer. Manchester City duo Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia have also come in, while Antoine Griezmann, Samuel Umtiti, and Clement Lenglet have been linked with exits from Camp Nou.