Barca expect Lionel Messi stay


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Barcelona technical secretary Robert Fernandez says star pair Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta are close to agreeing fresh terms at Camp Nou.

Both players are out of contract in 2018 and there has been tentative speculation Messi could depart, with a reunion with former Barca boss Pep Guardiola mooted by some sources – particularly in England.

However, Fernandez remains relaxed over the futures of both players and he is convinced they will agree new deals in the near future. “Iniesta and Messi will renew soon,” he told RAC1.

“Iniesta has already made a statement saying he will wait for the end of the season. “He is an icon worldwide and we have to wait because it is a decision for him.

Iniesta is a serious and respected person and if he wants to talk at the end of the season, we will do it. “The club will decide when to announce the renewal of Messi.

It’s in a good spot, but all negotiations have their time.” Messi scored his 500th goal for the club in sensational fashion at the weekend as his last-minute strike saw Barcelona claim a 3-2 El Clasico win over title rivals Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.

The Argentine star managed two goals in Madrid on Sunday as his first-half effort cancelled out Real’s opener.

The victory ensured Barca moved ahead of their rivals in La Liga on goal difference, but Real still hold the advantage as they seek a first league crown since 2012 as they have played a game less.

Barcelona are 2.50 to win La Liga outright and Los Blancos can be backed at 1.50 to land the top domestic prize.

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