Luis Suarez has warned Barcelona officials to forget about the "common sense" and make every effort possible to secure the long-term future of Lionel Messi on a new bumper deal.
Barcelona chief executive Oscar Grau surprised all on Wednesday (11 January) by saying the Spanish giants cannot offer Messi a blank cheque, despite his current contract expiring at the end of next season.
"As I always say we have to analyse [Messi's renewal] with cool head," the club CEO said, as quoted by AS. "Barcelona cannot overpass more than 70 % [of the budget] in wages. Our desire and what we want is for the best player in the history to stay. Messi, like [Andres] Iniesta, [Gerard] Pique and all the players raised at the academy should retire at Barcelona. We have time, he has a year and a half left on his contract and we will address [the new deal]. There is a firm wish for Messi to stay but we have to do it with common sense. When you have the best player at home it would be stupid for us to let him go."
Many Barcelona supporters have questioned the CEO's words, saying they aren't exactly reassuring when it comes to convincing Messi to stay at the club.
Messi responded Grau to on the pitch during Barcelona's 3-1 victory over Athletic Club Bilbao in the Copa del Rey by scoring his 26th goal of the season.
And Suarez, who recently inked a new contract at the Nou Camp, has expressed disagreement over Grau's comments, urging the club official to make every effort to secure the future of his teammate at any price.
"It's clear. Messi is the best player in the world and what [they] have to do is renew his contract, not have common sense," Suarez said to Spanish reporters when asked about the CEO's comments. "He shows that he is the best every day. He's always got a trick up his sleeve."
Meanwhile, manager Luis Enrique was more measured in his response to Grau, but made it clear that Barcelona cannot afford to lose the best player in the world.
"What a question. It has a lot to do with [the win over] Athletic. I do not know what the CEO has said. I don't follow the press. But tell me a single game in which Messi has not been decisive," the boss said in the press conference after the 3-1 win over Athletic Club Bilbao. "I do not know about numbers, [I only know] about football. I hope Messi stays here for many more years and that's the most important thing."
Messi once again showed his importance for Luis Enrique's side during the 3-1 win over Athletic as his goal sent Barcelona into the last eight of the Copa del Rey, winning 4-3 on aggregate.
The goal also saw Messi equal Ronald Koeman's record of 26 free kick goals for Barcelona. The current Everton boss paid his tribute to the Argentine star through his Twitter account, while Luis Enrique backs his charge to break the record before too long.
"Messi does not remind me of any other player because there is nobody better than him," the Barcelona boss said. "It's not just his goals, it's also the way he reads the game, he always picks the right option and makes the people around him better wherever he is on the pitch."