Barcelona president makes Koeman demand which may persuade Messi to stay

It is set to be a disappointing end to the season for Barcelona, who despite Copa del Rey success, find themselves needing a miracle to lift the league title for the third time in four seasons.

Ronald Koeman's side sit four points adrift of league leaders Atletico Madrid, and two points behind fierce rivals Real Madrid who occupy second with just two games left to play.

Lionel Messi's future was a hot topic over the course of last summer's transfer window, the Argentine superstar seemingly coming the closest he has ever come to calling time on his glorious Camp Nou tenure.

However, he opted to stay for the 2020/21 campaign in a bid to guide the club to yet another La Liga and Champions League triumph.

Ultimately, the six-time Balon d'Or winner has fallen short of those targets, with Barca also crashing out of the Champions League at the round of 16 stage to French giants Paris Saint-Germain.

This has led to an increase in pressure on boss Ronald Koeman, who has faced serious questions over his future at the club in the wake of a season with no La Liga or Champions League glory.

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However, according to a report from Spanish outlet football-espana, Laporta and Koeman's relationship is still in good stead despite the Dutch manager falling short of what is likely to have been a number of his objectives at the beginning of the season.

Barca have endured an un-characteristic capitulation at the most vital stage of the title run-in, taking just five points from a possible 12.

As a result, it is rumoured Laporta has requested Koeman take a 'braver' approach to games, putting opposition sides to the sword with their swashbuckling attack that includes the likes of Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele and of course Messi himself.

This shift in tactics may be the kind of thing that sees Messi lift either the La Liga or Champions League trophy at least one more time in what has been a glittering career.

Though it remains unclear whether Laporta plans on keeping Koeman beyond this season, the report claims the Barca president 'appreciates' the work Koeman has done since he was appointed, during at a time where the club felt like it was very much in freefall.

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