The Argentine has opened up on his current state of mind after going through a “very bad time in the summer”
Lionel Messi has spoken out on his situation at Barcelona amid intensifying transfer rumours as he edges towards the final six months of his contract at Camp Nou.
Messi shocked the football world when he handed in an official transfer request following Barca’s 8-2 humbling at the hands of Bayern Munich in last season’s Champions League quarter-finals.
Manchester City, Inter and Paris Saint-Germain were all mooted as possible next destinations for the Argentine after he expressed a desire to activate the release clause in his contract via burofax, but he quickly saw his exit path blocked by Blaugrana and La Liga officials.
The 33-year-old eventually decided to remain at Camp Nou in order to avoid a drawn-out battle in court, insisting that he would never consider taking legal action against “the club that I love” during an explosive exclusive interview with Goal at the start of September.
Messi also took aim at the Barca board, accusing former club president Josep Maria Bartomeu of failing to keep his promises with regards to his future and supporting the team in their bid to conquer the Champions League.
Bartomeu resigned his post a month later with an impending vote of no confidence looming over his head, and the club has since set about ushering in a new era with head coach Ronald Koeman – with the next set of presidential elections due to take place in January.
Messi has slotted back into his role as Barca’s club captain seamlessly, and by scoring his sixth goal of the 2020-21 La Liga campaign in a 2-2 draw with Valencia on Saturday he equalled Brazil great Pele’s long-held one-club scoring record, with 643 goals recorded through 748 appearances.
The diminutive magician will still be free to commit to a pre-contract agreement with any potential suitors when the winter transfer window opens, with PSG now thought to be the frontrunners in the race for his signature.
However, Goal has reported that Barca have yet to receive any formal offers for Messi, who has now claimed that he is determined to help the club negotiate its way through a challenging time after coming through the most testing period of his career to date.
“The truth is that today I’m fine. It’s true that I had a very bad time in the summer,” the Argentina international told La Sexta.
“It came from before. What happened before the summer, because of how the season ended, the burofax and all that … Then I dragged it on a bit at the beginning of the season.
“But today I’m fine and I feel like fighting seriously for everything that lies ahead, [I’m] excited.
“I know that the club is going through a difficult time, at club level and everything that surrounds Barcelona, but I’m looking forward to it.”
Messi will be back in action with Barca when they take in a crucial trip to Real Valladolid in La Liga on Tuesday night.