• Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman addressed rumors surrounding Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann
  • Koeman admitted he doesn't know what's about to happen, but Messi is the top priority
  • The Dutchman is holding on to Joan Laporta's words about the Argentine's situation

The Barcelona boss has spoken about the club’s stance on Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann’s future.

Widespread rumors swirling around the sport said Barcelona has yet to seal fresh terms with Messi and Griezmann. The former is now officially a free agent after his contract expired at the end of June, while the Frenchman is linked to transfers despite still being in contract for three more years.

Lifting the lid on the pair’s situation, Barca manager Ronald Koeman admitted that Messi’s contract renewal is still the “absolute priority.”

"I'm going to rely on all of the players in my squad,” Koeman recently told reporters, including Sport. “If there are any incomings or outgoings, I'll need to accept them. These are decisions that need to be made by the club. There's lots of time left, let's see who stays and who goes. But it's clear that Messi's renewal is the absolute priority.”

As for Griezmann, Koeman “insisted” that it is beyond his scope to make a decision. Then again, the Dutchman stressed that the “most important thing” at the moment is to prolong Messi’s stay.

"[Antoine] Griezmann is very important for me,” the coach pointed out. “He's been a great signing for Barcelona and has shown his quality. He's performed well and is a very good player. But I insist, I don't know which decisions will be made.”

“The most important thing is for Leo [Messi] to sign a new contract,” he continued. “He is the future of the club, and we need to try everything to get him to sign."

Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi was sent off as Athletic Bilbao won the Spanish Super Cup on Sunday.
Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi was sent off as Athletic Bilbao won the Spanish Super Cup on Sunday. AFP / CRISTINA QUICLER

Earlier reports stated that the reason for Barcelona’s delay in extending Messi’s contract is the club’s financial woes.

Despite the obstacles, Barcelona president Joan Laporta remains positive that a deal will come to fruition sooner rather than later — something Koeman is also confident about.

“When everything is not right, you have to be concerned, I have confidence in the president [Laporta] to solve this issue,” Koeman told Mundo Deportivo of Messi’s situation. “It is important for the club and for the league that the best player in the world remains. Everyone has to make an effort here.”

“Laporta told me to be calm, that they are working on the issue and we are confident that he [Messi] will be there for a few more years,” he revealed. “It is important to know which players you are going to have, we know there is a limit, we are in the preseason and work is being done, but we already know that it’s like this until the end and we are used to it.”