According to Luis Suarez Lionel, Messi will stay at Barcelona if the club brings in a new board, which would include replacing current president Josep Maria Bartomeu.
The Argentine wanted to leave the Blaugrana this summer but ultimately decided he was unwilling to get involved in a legal battle with the club.
Messi nearly left Barcelona in the summer, telling the club he wanted to activate a release clause in his contract, before reversing his decision to avoid a potential legal fight against the club.
The 33-year-old, whose contract expires at the end of the current season, is still far from happy with the club’s board, saying Bartomeu and Co. have failed to build a winning team around him for some time.
Suarez, who himself departed Barcelona last month when he joined Atletico Madrid, said he spoke to his good friend often about his desire to leave Barcelona.
“He wanted to leave and the club did not want him to. I tried to support him, take care of him and distract him a little.” Said Suarez.
Suarez said that he will respect whatever Messi decides to do after the current campaign but he believes that if there is a change at the top, the Argentine will be more inclined to stay at Camp Nou.
“There may be the possibility that Messi plays for another club, but if he feels comfortable, happy again and another board arrives, he will want to continue at the club,” Suarez said.