Lionel Messi has to think about his future at a sporting level, says ex-Barca star Deco.

Updated: Aug 24

Ex-Porto and Barca star Deco says it Iis possible Messi could seek pastures new.

Lionel Messi must be convinced Barcelona will start heading in the right direction before he commits his future to the club, according to former team-mate Deco.

Messi's transfer away from Barca continues to be a hot topic of discussion since last week's 8-2 Champions League quarter-final defeat to Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.

And, reports in Spain suggest the Argentine has not decided if he is willing to stay at Camp Nou following a meeting with new head coach Ronald Koeman.

Koeman was named as Quique Setien's successor earlier this week after the Blaugranas exit from Europe's elite competition.

"I don't know [if Messi will leave], but he has a contract," Deco told Mundo Deportivo.

"He is a player who wants to keep winning and it will depend on what Barca does when it comes to offering him a competitive team. I haven't spoken to him, but I'm sure that's what he thinks.

"I think he has to think about his future at a sporting level. It is very difficult to make a decision because we are talking about the club of his life; it is not that he has been at Barca for three or four years.

"We are talking about the best player in the history of the club and his family is linked to the city. It's not easy.

"But it is also clear that he wants to keep winning. We cannot imagine a Barca without Leo, but it can happen."

Deco reckons the Barcelona are in safe hands with Koeman in charge.

"He is a coach who knows the club very well and has a lot of experience," he added.

"He knows the whole Barca environment and I think he can help Barca at this time."

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