LONDON: Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has revealed that the club are already laying the foundations for when Lionel Messi is no longer wearing the famous shirt.
The Catalan giants confirmed that recent forays in the transfer market were part of a plan to ensure that when the Argentine ace does hang up his boots they would not miss him that much.
Josep Maria Bartomeu (L) is only too aware that replacing Messi is an all but impossible task.
Barca are aiming to invest in “great young players,” according to Bartomeu — the recent £65 million ($84 million) deal for Ajax young gun Frenkie de Jong being a prime example.
Messi has netted a staggering 581 goals in 664 games in his 15 years at Barca and the 31-year-old remains their star man with 29 strikes from 28 matches this season.
Frenkie de Jong is moving to the Nou Camp from Ajax in a £65 million deal.
He still has two years left on his contract but has expressed a desire to play for Newell’s Old Boys in Argentina before permanently calling it quits.
“We have to prepare the club for the future,” Bartomeu told the BBC.
“We are bringing great young players to the team because we need to continue this era of success. That’s our responsibility.”