Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi scores during the Spanish league football match Villarreal CF against Barcelona at La Ceramica stadium in Vila-real on April 2, 2019. Image Credit: AFP

Barcelona: Barcelona want their star man Lionel Messi to stay with the club forever, President Josep Maria Bartomeu has said.

“Messi is a one-club man. It’s more than what he does on the pitch — his relationship with Barca will last forever,” he said. “I use the example of Pele, who was always at Santos. We want Messi to always be at Barca, whether that’s playing or linked to the club (when he’s retired).

“We want him to have a really long career so we can keep on enjoying him. Lionel’s managed to break down borders. Everyone admires him and he’s applauded at other stadiums by rival fans.

“We would like to renew his contract, that’s the idea. He is young — you can see that — and he still has two years on his deal. He’s always improving, always innovating. I believe he still has many years in front of him and in the coming months we will sit down with him so that he has many more years at Barcelona.”

Messi has a deal currently with the club which runs until the summer of 2021, which would take him up to 34th birthday. The Argentina forward has already scored 42 goals in all competitions this season.