Barcelona legend Rivaldo believes Messi WILL ‘sign a new contract’ with Barca

Barcelona legend Rivaldo believes Messi WILL ‘sign a new contract’ with Barca

Brazil icon Rivaldo claims he is confident that Lionel Messi will sign a new contract with Barcelona following the appointment of Joan Laporta as president.

Messi stunned Barcelona last summer when he tried to push for an exit after becoming disillusioned with proceedings both on and off the pitch, but the Spaniards held firm.

The Argentine’s future is still in doubt, with the likes of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain showing interest but he has started to re-discover his best form for Barca, who have enjoyed a surge in performances in recent times.

And Barcelona legend Rivaldo believes Messi – who is out of contract this summer – looks much happier at the club again and claims the arrival of Laporta is to thank.

Rivaldo told Betfair: ‘Barcelona are massively improving in the last few weeks capitalising on Messi’s superb form and the election of a new president.

‘Messi looks much more connected and happier since Laporta’s arrival – a president he knows well.

‘For that reason, I’m starting to believe more and more that Messi might reach an agreement with the new board and sign a new contract to stay at the club for a few more years.

‘Messi had a confidence boost with the new president election – someone he has a good connection with – raising the chances of him considering to stay for a bit longer.’

Messi had a fractious relationship with the club’s much-maligned former president Josep Bartomeu and tried to push for a free transfer last summer, but Barca insisted that his eye-watering £629million release clause was met by suitors.

The future of Messi will be one of the first points of call for Laporta to address as president after he was appointed at the beginning of March.

Throughout Laporta’s campaign trail, he made prioritising Messi’s future central to his plans – with the Argentine even voting himself in the elections.

Messi has been in imperious form of late for Barca, who now find themselves back in the race for the LaLiga title.

Ronald Koeman’s side currently sit just four points adrift of leaders Atletico Madrid with 10 matches remaining, with Real Madrid two further back.