Lionel Messi has sparked exit talk recently, but Giovanni van Bronckhorst “can’t imagine a Barcelona without him” and is hoping a deal can be done that allows a mercurial Argentine to remain a one-club man.
The expectation has always been that the six-time Ballon d’Or winner will see out his entire career at Camp Nou.
There has been the odd suggestion that he could return to his roots at Newell’s Old Boys before hanging up his boots, but such a deal appears unlikely given Messi’s standing in the global game.
Many with close ties to Barca remain confident, though, that a compromise will be reached that allows the South American superstar to remain in his current surroundings.
Ex-Blaugrana defender Van Bronckhorst is among those hoping that Messi can be retained at Camp Nou, with the Dutchman telling AFP:
“I would love to see him be part of Barcelona for his whole career.
“He’s one of the (few) players to stay his whole career at the same club.
“I admire him as a person and a player and hopefully he will stay there. That’s what I’d love to see.”
Van Bronckhorst spent four years at Barca between 2003 and 2007, with a young Messi starting to breakthrough during that time.