Ronald Koeman reportedly made a beeline for Lionel Messi after the Barcelona captain returned to training on Monday.
Messi was back at the Joan Gamper training complex for the first time since reversing his decision to quit the club this summer, with Manchester City said to be favourites to sign him at one stage.
The 33-year-old was seemingly desperate to leave as he cited broken promises and a clause in his contract that he felt was valid which would allow him to depart on a free transfer.
After confirming he would stay and see out the last year of his contract, Messi told Goal.com : “I wanted to go because I thought about living my last years of football happily.
"Lately, I have not found happiness within the club.
"I will continue at Barca and my attitude will not change no matter how much I have wanted to go. I will do my best."
But on his return to training on Monday, Mundo Deportivo report that Messi arrived half an hour before his teammates as he sought to set an example and show them that he was back on board.
The report adds that Messi – who did some fitness work with Philippe Coutinho – was taken aside by Koeman for a private chat in what was their first conversation since Messi had told the Dutchman he wanted to leave.
Koeman is said to have told Messi that he was happy that he would be remaining at the club, and that while the idea that he would not receive "special treatment" was still a valid one, he would obviously treat him with the respect that his talents deserve.
It is claimed that Messi responded well to the talks, and promised his new boss that he will be fully focused on returning to his best form in what could well be his final season at the club.
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