Lionel Messi must be handed new deal, says Luis Suarez

Thursday January 12 2017

Barcelona's Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring a goal during their Spanish Copa del Rey (King's Cup) round of 16 second leg match against Athletic Club de Bilbao at the Camp Nou on January 11, 2017. PHOTO | LLUIS GENE |

Barcelona's Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring a goal during their Spanish Copa del Rey (King's Cup) round of 16 second leg match against Athletic Club de Bilbao at the Camp Nou on January 11, 2017. PHOTO | LLUIS GENE |  AFP

By AFP
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BARCELONA

Barcelona striker Luis Suarez has hit back at comments by the club's CEO that the Catalan giants won't "go crazy" when negotiating a new contract for five-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi.

Barca CEO Oscar Grau said on Wednesday that a new deal for Messi, who has 18 months left on his current deal, was being negotiated with "common sense and discretion."

"With Messi what you have to do is give him a new contract, not have common sense," said Suarez after netting his 100th Barca goal in just 120 appearances as they progressed to the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey with a 3-1 win over Athletic Bilbao.

Despite posting a record turnover of 679 million euros ($719 million) last season, a series of expensive new contracts for the likes of Neymar and Suarez mean Barcelona are close to overstepping the 70 percent limit of turnover spent on salaries imposed by UEFA's financial fair-play laws.

Barca captain Andres Iniesta also has just 18 months left to run on his contract.

On the field, Messi proved the match-winner once again on Wednesday as he scored from a free-kick for the third time in as many games this year 11 minutes from time to edge out Bilbao 4-3 on aggregate.

"I don't know what the CEO said, but tell me one game in which Leo Messi hasn't been decisive," said Barca coach Luis Enrique.

"I don't know about numbers, I know about football. We all want to enjoy watching Messi here for many more years, nothing else matters for me."