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Josep Maria Bartomeu 'calm' over Lionel Messi's Barcelona future

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu says that he is calm over Lionel Messi's future at the club amid the recent speculation.

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has played down fears that Lionel Messi could leave the Spanish champions at the end of the current season.

Messi, who has not turned out for Ernesto Valverde's side this term due to a calf problem, has a contract at Camp Nou until the summer of 2021.

However, there is a clause in the Argentina international's deal which allows him the opportunity to leave the club for free at the end of each season.

Bartomeu has insisted that the 32-year-old has "earned that freedom", but the Barca chief is relaxed over the attacker's future in Spain.

"Messi signed until 2021. It was agreed that at the end of the penultimate season he is at liberty to leave for free," Bartomeu told Barca TV. "He has earned that freedom to decide his future, but he is very Cule (Barcelona fan) and I am calm.

"Xavi, [Andres] Iniesta and [Carles] Puyol all had the same clause and we couldn't give Messi a different clause, but I repeat, I am in no doubt he will stay for many years."

Spanish publication Marca suggested in a recent report that the option is designed to allow Messi to return to Argentina 'whenever he wants'.

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