Barcelona defender Clement Lenglet has told Eurosport France he is in the dark over whether Lionel Messi will remain at the club next season.
The club’s record goalscorer’s contract is due to expire this summer although Barcelona are keen to extend his deal to keep him at the Nou Camp.
However, speaking exclusively to Eurosport, his teammate Lenglet has admitted he doesn’t know if the Argentine superstar will stay at the club.
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“That, I don't know,” he said when asked if he expects to continue playing alongside Messi next season, “but I hope [so].”
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Lenglet, who joined the club from Sevilla in 2018, extended his own contract with the club last year, committing until 2026.
The Frenchman, who has worn the captain’s armband in Messi’s absence in the past, also poured cold water on speculation linking him with a move away from the club.
“I can't see myself leaving,” he added. “I signed a new contract last season. I will be at Barça next season.”
Despite a lacklustre campaign in which Barca finished third in La Liga and were knocked out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage, the 25-year-old remains optimistic about the future and welcomed the recent news that manager Ronald Koeman would be staying at the club.
“He did a good job the first year,” said Lenglet. “We had some complicated periods but also periods of quality play, victories and positivity.
“I hope that we will continue the work undertaken and progress next year. We are [moving] in the right direction.
We must continue to work in this way for the results to be better.
“In La Liga, we collapsed at the end after we managed to recover a lot of points. We must sustain momentum [next season].”
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Ahead of the new season, Barcelona have confirmed the signings of Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia on free transfers from Manchester City, two additions Lenglet feels will help improve the team moving forward.
We have recruited two very high level players with quality. Barça remains Barça and that will not change.
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