PEP Guardiola has urged Lionel Messi to stay at Barcelona, advising the Argentina international to remain patient and show faith in the project of current boss Luis Enrique.
Last week the four-time world player of the year appeared to be as close as ever to a Camp Nou exit after admitting he was unsure where he would be playing his football next season.
Reigning Premier League champions Manchester City have since been linked with a world record move for the forward, who was said to be unhappy at being dropped from the Barca side that lost 1-0 to Real Sociedad earlier this month.
Bayern Munich coach Guardiola told Messi he should appreciate what he means to Barcelona and what the club has given him, both in his professional and personal life. Guardiola also reminded the 27-year-old of the unanimous support he has from everyone at the club, stressing that no other club can show him the same level of backing.
Messi has always listened to those he respects and owes so much of his career to and the sentiments of his former mentor Guardiola have made a real impression on him. The duo won three Liga titles, two Champions League crowns and two club world titles during Guardiola’s four seasons with the club.
Pep insisted that Luis Enrique has what it takes to be successful with the Catalan giants and urged Messi to remain calm and committed to the club, vowing that the upcoming presidential elections would bring to an end what has been a turbulent 12 months or so for the club.
Former chief Sandro Rosell was forced to step down after revealing the controversial financial details of the club’s acquisition of Brazil star Neymar. A two-window transfer embargo was then enforced by Fifa after the club were found to have breached regulations regarding the transfers of under-18 players.
Messi, who does not have a close relationship with Luis Enrique or any of the members of the current board, was relieved to receive the reassurances from his former boss.