Barcelona CEO says club wants to keep Messi but "must keep with common sense"

Barcelona CEO Oscar Grau said the club's plan is to keep superstar Lionel Messi but that it must use common sense when it comes to contract negotiations.

With the Argentine's contract set to expire in the summer of 2018, Grau said the contract talks much be approached with a cool head, according to Marca.

"It's an issue that can be approached with a cool head and common sense," Grau said.

"The club cannot exceed spending 70 percent of our budget on wages and therefore we must find a way to square the circle.

"One option is to increase revenue, as contemplated in our strategic plan. We want to have the best, but we also may have to prioritize.

"Barcelona wants the best player in the world and the history of the club to stay, I would like to reassure fans that that is the case, but we must keep with common sense."

There really hasn't been a whole lot of concern about Messi leaving, despite even a former teammate claiming he'll return to Argentina next year. The belief all along is that a new deal is only a matter of time for the 29-year-old, who has spent his entire professional career at Barca.

Now it seems to be about finding a middle ground on contract talks, which have stalled,

The CEO decided to come out and calm the fans, and we could possibly see an extension announced during the summer. With no summer competition for Argentina, that is likely where negotiations continue and where a deal probably gets done.

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CBS Sports Writer

Roger Gonzalez is an award-winning writer based in Virginia that has covered pro soccer from Europe's top clubs to Argentina's first division. Roger started out his pro soccer writing career with Goal.com... Full Bio

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