Henk ten Cate has claimed that Lionel Messi is only staying at Barcelona due to a "deathbed" promise he made to former head coach Tito Vilanova.
Vilanova passed away last April after a long battle with cancer, and Ten Cate, who served as assistant to Frank Rijkaard at Camp Nou in the early stages of Messi's career, suggests that a promise between the two is keeping the Argentine at the club.
"As far as I know these problems started around two years ago. Messi is only at Barcelona because of a promise he made to Tito Vilanova on his deathbed," the former Barcelona coach told Der Telegraaf.
"However, I think a transfer would be in everyone's best interests because Leo has been with Barca quite a while and needs a new challenge."