Barcelona head coach Ronald Koeman has said it is “impossible” for Barcelona to play without Lionel Messi after what might have been the star’s final match at Camp Nou.
Out of contract at the end of the season, uncertainty still hangs over Messi’s future, and more so after Barca’s frustrating conclusion to the season.
Although the Copa de Rey was claimed, Barca can finish at best third in La Liga, having won only one of their last five matches, including a 2-1 defeat to Celta Vigo on Sunday.
Messi opened the scoring in that match, but it may have been his last goal in Blaugrana colours at Camp Nou.
Speaking after the defeat, Koeman said: “He has scored 30 goals in La Liga and has given us many points in La Liga. It's a question for Leo. For my part and the club, let's hope he stays with us.
“Because if Leo's not here, we have a doubt who's going to score the goals.”
Jordi Alba is also uncertain over Messi’s future.
“Let's hope not, although it's a decision [Messi] has to make,” he said.
Messi has made it clear that he wants to play for a club with a strong sporting project, and both Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain hold an interest in him.
Barcelona, meanwhile, currently lack the consistency to challenge at the top in Spain, while they do not have the finances to bolster the squad in a manner that would suggest they could win the Champions League next season.
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