KEY POINTS

  • Lionel Messi is forced to stay in Barcelona for at least one more year 
  • Luis Suarez is nearing a move to Turin after reaching a personal agreement with Juventus
  • Messi demands Josep Maria Bartomeu to keep Suarez

Lionel Messi was forced to stay in Barcelona after a tumultuous series of events triggered by his desire to leave the club. But although Messi will continue maneuvering the helm for Barca, the Catalans are not yet out of the woods as it remains uncertain whether the Argentine superstar will stay beyond 2021 when his contract expires.

With the future still in doubt, reports now suggest that the only way Barcelona could keep their star captain is to not let go of Luis Suarez.

Messi has made his warning clear to Josep Maria Bartomeu, Diario GOL reports.

Messi wanted the management to block the Uruguayan star’s impending departure from Camp Nou and his demand is said to be “non-negotiable.” Otherwise, he’ll leave.

This presents yet another dilemma for the Spanish giants as newly appointed coach Ronald Koeman deems Suarez not fit for his plans for the club, paving the way for the exit of the Uruguay international, who is reported to be close to signing with Juventus.

Suarez is said to have already agreed on personal terms with the Serie A giants, and will, in fact, take a language exam next week in order to acquire an Italian passport, a Goal report says. 

The report further revealed that the amount of the said agreement is set at $12 million per season over three years. Barcelona and Juventus are closing in on making the deal official.

The looming move to Turin, however, does not discount that Suarez also wanted to keep his talents for the Blaugrana.

In the midst of rumors about his transfer, the 33-year-old communicated his desire to stay in Barca as he sought for clarification about his future – but to no avail.

“There is talk of some names that the president gave, of changes that can be made, but nobody told me that they want to do without me,” Suarez said in a previous interview with El Pais

“I also want the best for the club and my plan today is to continue, but if the club thinks that I am expendable, I have no problem speaking with those who decide.

“(I want to stay), as long as I am counted on, I want to continue contributing as much as I can.”

Suarez spent six years in Barcelona and was a key figure in the club along with Messi as they won several titles together, including four in La Liga and one in the Champions League in 2015.

Luis Suárez, Lionel Messi Luis Suárez and Lionel Messi are in Japan looking to fire Barcelona to the FIFA Club World Cup title. Photo: Getty Images