Lionel Messi has confirmed that he wants to hang up his boots at Barcelona amid reports claiming that the Argentina international is set to commit his long-term future to the Nou Camp by signing a new deal.
The 29-year-old's future at the La Liga giants has been under question in recent months with his current deal set to expire at the end of next season. Barcelona have been in negotiations with Messi's father for months but last month AS added more uncertainty to the saga after reporting that the five-time Ballon d'Or winner had rejected the first offer made by the club, worth between €30m (£26m) and €35m.
However, on Wednesday night (7 June) Cadena Ser played down the concerns of Barcelona fans after reporting that Messi's father and the club have finally reached an agreement for the player to continue at the Nou Camp until 2021 – with an option to extend by a further year.
The radio station says that the deal is already done but will be announced after 30 June due to fiscal reasons.
Messi has now appeared to confirm those reports after stating that he wants to end his career at Barcelona.
"It's what I always dreamed and what I always wanted. I would like to finish my career at Barça," Messi said to ESPN.
Meanwhile, the Argentinian admitted his disappointment with the 2016-2017 campaign but vowed to return stronger next season in order to fight for titles again under new manager Ernesto Valverde.
"I would have liked to achieve more things, like being in the Champions League final and win the league, but it was not to be," he said. "Whenever I compete I do so to win and I give everything in order to get the best results. In this regard, this season I felt like I did in previous years."
Messi's quotes will be especially welcomed by Valverde. Last week the new Barcelona manager revealed that the possibility of working with the best player he has ever seen was one of the main reasons behind his decision to take over from Luis Enrique at the Nou Camp.
"I am not concerned [about Messi' new deal]. The information I have is that everyone is very optimistic about it," Valverde said in his presentation as Barcelona manager.
"I am lucky to be able to coach him. He's the best player I've ever seen on a pitch and it will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. When you think that Messi has reached his peak, the next day he surprises you. I hope to enjoy his football and help him to improve, if that's possible."