The Blaugrana legend fears an all-time great will move on in the summer, but the offer of a post-career role at Camp Nou might change his mind
Lionel Messi could be tempted into signing a new contract at Barcelona if a clause was included in his deal that guarantees a role at Camp Nou once the day comes to hang up his boots, says Rivaldo.
With no fresh terms agreed, and with one push for the exits blocked off in 2020, Messi is in the process of weighing up his options.
Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City are waiting in the wings, with Ligue 1 and Premier League heavyweights keeping a close eye on events in Catalunya.
Rivaldo accepts that a fresh start for Messi appears the most likely outcome at this stage.
Despite the 33-year-old spending his entire professional career to date at Barca, he may be tempted by a new challenge after achieving so much in Spain.
The Blaugrana are, however, refusing to give up on efforts to put an extension in place.
Rivaldo believes the leak of current details will have done the Liga giants few favours, but he feels a compromise could be reached that suits all parties and puts long-term plans in place.
The legendary Brazilian has told Betfair: “A leak revealed details about Messi’s contract with Barcelona this week. That’s not good and is potentially damaging for the club and player, but I think we shouldn’t get bogged down in discussing it.
“We need to remember what the player has done for the club. His contribution has been superb for decades, on and off the pitch, so it isn’t fair to criticise him about any deal that he might have made for his own protection.
“Someone decided to leak this information, and they clearly had a bad agenda, seeking to divide the club a bit more in a time when things are already turbulent.
“Messi tried to leave the club last summer and it looks increasingly likely that he’ll get his way at the end of the season.
“Barca’s manager Ronald Koeman has doubts about him staying at the club and even Joan Laporta, favourite to be the next president, only has hope of keeping him instead of a commitment from the player.
“The club should make an effort to keep him if there are the financial resources to give him a long-term contract.
“It could include a clause about a job at the club when he ends his professional career. This might make him consider signing a new contract. This is just a suggestion and I don’t know exactly what Messi’s aspirations are when he stops playing football.
“But Messi will continue to be a huge figure in world football and staying at Barcelona – no matter what his role – would be beneficial to the club.”