Luis Suarez says ex-teammate Lionel Messi would likely STAY at Barcelona under a new board — RT Sport News

Wantaway Barcelona ace Lionel Messi could still be persuaded to stay at Camp Nou, according to a man recently sacked by Catalan club Luis Suarez.

Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez has traded Barcelona for Atletico Madrid but said his friend and teammate will likely prefer to stay at his youth club when things can calm down behind the scenes and create an atmosphere that the Argentine ace will regain can enjoy.

Messi tried to plan a move from Barca over the summer but, after a very public back-and-forth with the club, agreed to stay until his current contract expires in June 2021.

Starting in January, he will be able to negotiate with teams, with the cash-rich Premier League giants Manchester City, run by Messi’s former boss Pep Guardiola and considered the first favorites for his signature.

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But Suarez said the possibility of Messi staying at Barca remains a possibility.

“Maybe there is a chance that he will play for another club, but if he feels comfortable and happy and a new board comes along, he will want to stay at the club,” Suarez told the ESPN show 90 minutes.

“As a friend, I’ll be happy if he’s doing well (at Barca), but also if he goes to another club.”

In the meantime, affairs at the top of the club remain in flux, and Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu is a deeply unpopular figure in the club’s fan base. He called for club elections in March 2021, but a vote of no confidence is to be cast against him and the club board in the coming months.

A board-level change could potentially open the door for Messi to stay at Camp Nou, but any change would have to come soon, with the player likely to strike a deal with a new club in early 2021 if he is still determined to leave Catalonia .

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Manchester City will certainly be happy to speak to him as soon as the negotiating window opens. Premier League club’s CEO Omar Berrada refuses to rule out an offer from the club in early 2021.

“It’s almost impossible to guess what will happen next summer,” he told the Manchester Evening News.

“Messi is a talent of the generation, he’s the best player in the world and probably an exception to potential investments that we would make unusual.

“We have to be prepared for each and every position because so many things can happen, but I think we have both the financial strength and the ability to make that investment when necessary.”

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