FC Barcelona's sporting director Eric Abidal has revealed that the club is looking to talk to Lionel Messi soon about his new contract.

Messi's contract is set to expire at the end of next season but according to a clause in his contract, he can choose to leave Barca at the end of any season after his 32nd birthday, which was in June.

While the Argentine great has expressed to stay at the Spanish club for a very long time, Barca are hopeful of putting any speculation of him leaving to an end with a fresh contract.

Speaking to Sport, Abidal said, "Messi is a key player for us. He does have the option to leave at the end of his current deal, however, we want to work on that. Our president is talking to his representatives at the moment, and we hope to get the matter closed. I hope he stays in Barcelona for many many years, but that is Leo's decision," the former Barca player added.

Messi had earlier expressed that he wanted to play at "Newell's in Argentine football" at some point in his life but then that dream looks unlikely now as his family has well settled in Barcelona.

Lionel Messi almost scored a breathtaking goal but Barcelona were held to a frustrating draw by Slavia Prague
Lionel Messi AFP / LLUIS GENE

"I always said I don't want to leave Barcelona, I don't have the idea of leaving. I have the dream of being able to play at Newell's in Argentine football, but I don't know if realistically it will happen, because I have a family that comes before my desire. It's a reality I dreamed of since I was little but I have a family, I have three children, I live in a place that gave me everything and where I am calm, and I can give my kids a spectacular future. We think much more about that than my desire to play in Argentine football," Messi added.

Messi went on to add that it is not easy anymore leaving Barcelona for a very long time because of his children. "I'll try to convince the family because now you have to convince the kids too. Thiago [Messi's eldest son] is big now, he's got his friends and he doesn't like it at all when we go to Argentina for a month, he wants to be with his friends and it's all harder," the legendary forward said.