The Hard Tackle takes a look at some of the key stories regarding Barcelona from the day.

Here’s a roundup of everything happening in and around Camp Nou.

Bartomeu confident that Messi will remain at Barcelona

BARCELONA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 18: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona celebrates after scoring his team's fourth goal during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and RCD Espanyol at the Camp Nou stadium on December 18, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

BARCELONA, SPAIN – DECEMBER 18: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona celebrates after scoring his team’s fourth goal during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and RCD Espanyol at the Camp Nou stadium on December 18, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has said that he’s confident that star man Lionel Messi will soon sign a contract extension and remain at the club for years to come. The club have not opened negotiations with Messi over a new contract, but Bartomeu said the Messi is convinced he will stay at the club beyond 2018.

As reported by Goal, Bartomeu was speaking at his review of 2016, and he said: “We would like him to end his career as a Barca player. Without getting into the nitty gritty, we hope we can announce this at some point because I think Barca wants this and I think Leo wants this too. He’s happy here in Barca. This is his club. I think he is convinced he is in the best team. I think he’s convinced that he couldn’t be in a better place.”

Messi has 18 months remaining on his current contract that will run out in the summer of 2018. Several reports have floated in recent times stating that Messi could move away from Camp Nou and could refuse to extend his current contract. Bartomeu’s comments, though, will bring hope among the Barcelona faithful, as they pray for Messi to extend his stay at the club.

Real Madrid have had a bit of luck this season: Sergi Roberto

Barcelona's midfielder Sergi Roberto smiles during a press conference at the Sports Center FC Barcelona Joan Gamper in Sant Joan Despi, near Barcelona on December 5, 2016, on the eve of the UEFA Champions League football match FC vs Borussia Moenchengladbach. (Photo by Lluis Gene/AFP/Getty Images)

Barcelona’s midfielder Sergi Roberto smiles during a press conference at the Sports Center FC Barcelona Joan Gamper in Sant Joan Despi, near Barcelona on December 5, 2016, on the eve of the UEFA Champions League football match FC vs Borussia Moenchengladbach. (Photo by Lluis Gene/AFP/Getty Images)

Barcelona right-back Sergi Roberto has claimed that there has been an element of luck to Real Madrid’s unbeaten start to the campaign, pointing out how Los Blancos have scored late goals to win several matches that could otherwise have ended as stalemates.

In an interview with RAC1, Roberto said: “I think that they have had a bit of luck so far. They have been scoring goals in the last minute. A game doesn’t end until the final whistle, of course, and you can score then, but there have been a lot of games when they’ve been drawing and end up scoring in the last minute through a free kick or a corner.”

A late Sergio Ramos header saw Real Madrid draw level against Barcelona in the El Clasico two weeks ago, as the Blaugrana were frustratingly denied three points in the dying stages of the match. Barcelona currently sit three points behind their fierce rivals in the La Liga table but Real Madrid have a game in hand, heading into the Christmas break.

Aleix Vidal to Swansea?

BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 10: Aleix Vidal of FC Barcelona runs with the ball during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Deportivo Alaves at Camp Nou stadium on September 10, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

BARCELONA, SPAIN – SEPTEMBER 10: Aleix Vidal of FC Barcelona runs with the ball during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Deportivo Alaves at Camp Nou stadium on September 10, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

ESPN FC have reported that Swansea City is monitoring the situation of versatile defender Aleix Vidal at Barcelona, as manager Bob Bradley attempts to pull the Welsh outfit away from the relegation zone. Swansea are looking to sign Vidal on a loan deal in January and Barcelona will not stand in his way as he looks for regular playing time on the field.

Vidal was signed from Sevilla in the summer transfer window of 2015, but due to Barcelona’s transfer ban he missed the first six months of the 2015/16 season. This season, though, opportunities have been limited as Luis Enrique has preferred Sergi Roberto in Vidal’s stead. He has only managed three appearances of note in recent times, and there’s an indication that the Camp Nou exit door could be close for the Spaniard.

Other Barcelona News

Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has insisted that he isn’t concerned about Neymar’s goalscoring struggles this season, with the Brazil star scoring just six goals in 18 appearances this season. The Barcelona boss instead pointed out how his creativity is helping earn the club vital points this season.

Leave A Comment...

*