Barcelona FC President Josep Maria Bartomeu has downplayed Lionel Messi's exit rumours, stating the star striker wants to continue with the club till the end of his football career.
"I am not going to give details but Messi has said many times that he will end his football life in Barcelona," Goal.com quoted Bartomeu as saying.
"We are focused on the competition and there are negotiations with many players. Messi wants to continue and wants to end his career here. He has many years left and we are going to enjoy him for much longer," he added.
According to Spanish outlet Cadena SER, Messi has stopped contract negotiations with the Catalan giants amid reports of growing tensions within the club. His current deal runs till 2021.
Meanwhile, Bartomeu was also elated with Barcelona's 4-1 win away at Villarreal on Sunday, a victory that leaves them four points behind the leaders. "Today's win was an important one. The team played well and we can be very happy with the performance. We will keep fighting for the league until the end," said the president after the final whistle in the Estadio de la Ceramica.
Earlier, manager Quique Setien had said that Messi has been training well despite speculations surrounding his future.
"I am not going to speculate on this because I have not heard him say anything about it and it is not my task," Setien had said.
"I see him well, Leo. The rest is speculation that I do not even enter into. That's what you, the press, are there for. I see him training well, and (nothing) more."