Barcelona centre-back Gerard Pique has appealed to Lionel Messi to extend his stay at the club.
Although president Josip Maria Bartomeu has resigned his seat, forcing a presidential election scheduled for January, there is no guarantee that the new board will be able to talk him into staying, particularly as Barca are in the process of slashing their wage bill.
Pique, though, is not giving up hope that his old ally might be talked into staying at Camp Nou, having joined the club as in 2001 from Newell’s in Argentina.
Asked by Radio Marca if Messi is set to renew his deal, he said: “We’ll have to ask Leo, I don’t know. We hope that we will stay. It’s a very personal decision and we’ll see.
“As long as he continues at Barca, there is hope, and we hope that he can be seduced into staying.”
Meanwhile, Messi’s old attacking cohort Luis Suarez departed under a cloud in the summer, one of the actions that the old board took that riled the Argentine.
Pique admits it was difficult to see the Uruguay international depart for Atletico Madrid.
“I was very sorry when Luis left, he spent many years at the club and we shared many experiences,” he said. “You play with each other for 90 minutes, but you spend many, many hours with them. We see them every morning, we travel, we are in the hotels, it is as if they was a class-mate.”
Barcelona are enduring a difficult start to the season and presently lie 13th in the Primera Division standings, albeit having played one or two games fewer than virtually every other team in the league.
However, they already find themselves an intimidating 12 points off the pace of leaders Real Sociedad, having lost three of eight league fixtures under Ronald Koeman.
Source : goal.com