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Rivaldo has told Barcelona what they must do to keep Lionel Messi amid renewed speculation he could join Manchester City.
Talk of a reunion with Pep Guardiola has resurfaced after the City manager signed a new deal keeping him at the Etihad until 2023.
Messi this week launched yet another rant over his situation at Barcelona, saying: “I’m tired of always being the problem for everything at the club.”
His outburst came after comments from Eric Olhats, the former agent of Barcelona striker Antoine Griezmann, who said the La Liga giants' training sessions were "designed to make certain people happy".
Olhats' remark has been interpreted as a thinly-veiled dig at Messi, who handed in a transfer request in the summer before deciding to stay put for the final year of his contract.
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Rivaldo fears Messi will leave the club when his contract ends next summer – especially after La Liga decided to reduce its salary cap amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
"Barcelona had already negotiated some salary cuts with players and also tried to make a general cut that was declined by the squad, so, this is not new for the players," the ex-Barca forward told Betfair.
"But it does reinforce the idea that reaching an agreement to renew Messi's contract is going to be tough with a reduced margin to increase his salary.
"Of course, Messi will have better offers from other clubs, and was already trying to leave the club by the end of last season. I can't see how our board will convince him to take a step back on that decision."
Rivaldo fears Messi will leave Barcelona when his contract expires next summer
(Image: Getty Images)
Barcelona are currently eighth in La Liga following an inconsistent run of form – although they have won all three of their opening Champions League group games.
And Rivaldo reckons winning either competition is the best way to convince Messi to stay at the Nou Camp.
"In my opinion, only winning a Champions League or La Liga title this season, or watching Koeman getting the team playing beautiful football can convince Messi to reconsider his options," said the 2002 World Cup winner.
"Unfortunately I'm afraid this will be his last season with the club."
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