‘He is mature enough to make the decisions he has to make’: Luis Suarez admits he has no idea if close friend Lionel Messi will extend Barcelona deal… but admits he would ‘speak wonders’ of Atletico Madrid if Argentine wanted fresh start
- Lionel Messi’s contract with Barcelona is set to expire at the end of this season
- He has shown no signs of extending and can speak to other clubs from January
- Luis Suarez, Messi’s close friend, has also admitted uncertainty over his future
- The 33-year-old left Barcelona to join Atletico Madrid after being frozen out
The veteran striker, 33, left Catalonia this summer as part of Ronald Koeman’s drastic shake-up of his new team, and may also be followed out the exit door by his close friend in the coming months.
The pair remain in regular contact but even Suarez is none the wiser about Messi’s next groundbreaking move.
Luis Suarez has admitted uncertainty over whether Lionel Messi will remain with Barcelona
Atletico Madrid striker Suarez hinted he may speak to his close friend about reuniting with him
Suarez has, however, hinted that he may try to convince the all-time great to reunite with him under Diego Simeone.
‘I’ll always say it, Leo is mature enough to make the decisions he has to make,’ he told AS. ‘I will never ask him anything, on the contrary, I will always defend that where he is happy, he is happy, that he make the decision he makes.
‘If at some point the possibility comes up, then let him know, obviously I’m going to speak wonders of the club. But later, when it comes to raising something, I think it is he who has to decide and where he is happy will be the best.’
The failed attempts from Messi to engineer a transfer have led to accusations that the six-time Ballon d’Or winner’s heart no longer lies at the Nou Camp.
Messi tried to engineer his Barcelona exit last summer and has endured a mixed season so far
A recent viral clip showing his lacklustre defending against Dynamo Kiev has only further fuelled that speculation.
But despite the stand-off between the talisman and his club threatening to tear apart their relationship, Suarez has insisted Messi remains as enthusiastic as ever.
He added: ‘He is 33 years old and knows how to deal with every situation. I see him with the same enthusiasm that I saw him before.
‘Enjoying and not lowering your arms, which is important. Because, although sometimes the ball does not want to enter, it keeps trying. That says a lot about him.’
But despite Messi’s dilemma, Suarez believes the superstar remains as enthusiastic as ever
Messi can speak to other clubs from January with his deal expiring at the end of the season
Barcelona’s Champions League embarrassment last season, combined with their failures across other fronts, pushed Messi to admit to wanting to leave.
He had become disillusioned with the direction of the club under much-maligned president Josep Bartomeu, who later refused to sanction the switch despite the player’s belief he could walk away as a free agent.
Bartomeu has since resigned and fresh presidential elections are lined up for early next year, but it remains unclear whether Messi will pen a new deal to stay.
As it stands, the iconic forward will be able to speak to interested parties from January.