Joan Gaspart has been reading between the lines of comments made by Argentine since it emerged he has an exit clause in his current contract
Lionel Messi has been sending warnings to Barcelona that he “doesn’t like how the club has been going”, claims former president of the Liga giants Joan Gaspart.
The Argentine superstar has been discussing his future plans after it emerged that there has been an exit clause in his current contract which would allow him to walk away from Camp Nou at the end of the season.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has offered no indication that he will be severing ties with the only club side of his professional career, but has not entirely committed his long-term future to the club either.
Messi told Sport: “What I can say has been that I want to be at Barcelona as long as possible. I’ve said throughout my career that this has been my home.
“But I also don’t want to have a long-term contract and only be here because of it. I want to be here because physically I’m fine, to play and be an important member of the squad.”
He went on say, while admitting that he has been not in talks regarding a new contract: “I need to see there’s a winning team because I want to keep winning things at this club.
“For me, money or a clause don’t mean anything. Other things motivate me and the most important thing has been having a winning team.”
Gaspart has been reading between the lines of those comments and believes he has spotted warning signs that Barcelona need to heed.
He told Cadena Ser on Messi’s exit clause: “[Andres] Iniesta and Xavi had things like this in their contracts, it’s nothing new.
“What Messi has has been part of the philosophy of Barca. I know him well and I don’t think his words were a challenge to the club because it’s not his style.
“After every statement came a ‘but’ and while the club might understand them as irrelevant, I think they are warnings that he doesn’t like how the club has been going.”
Messi was left frustrated by Barca’s inability to bring Neymar back to Catalunya from Paris Saint-Germain over the summer.
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Gaspart can understand why such feelings would emerge, but believes the reigning La Liga champions did all they could in difficult circumstances.
He added: “I know that Barcelona and the president tried to sign Neymar but PSG asked for €300 million and while Neymar has been an exceptional soccer professional, as a matter of dignity, they couldn’t do it.
“Barcelona did well trying to sign him.”