Gerard Pique has pleaded for Lionel Messi to stay at Barcelona and says the club will do all they can to “seduce” him into signing a new deal.

Messi, 33, is out of contract in June and is free to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with any club from January onwards.

Stream ESPN FC Daily on ESPN+ (U.S. only)
ESPN+ viewer’s guide: Bundesliga, Serie A, MLS, FA Cup and more
– Ogden: Messi to City a real prospect after Pep’s new deal

The forward wanted to leave Camp Nou after August’s 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League, with sources telling ESPN that Manchester City led the race to sign him, but he was eventually forced to stay put.

“You will have to ask Leo, I don’t know,” Pique said in a question and answer session for the CRIS Cancer Foundation when asked if Messi would remain at Barca beyond the summer.

“We hope he stays. It’s a personal decision. We will see. But for as long as he’s wearing the Barca shirt, there is always hope. We hope to seduce him to stay for many more years.”

Barca have been unable to start talks over a new deal with Messi because they have been left without a president since Josep Maria Bartomeu resigned in October.

A new president will be elected at the end of January, with Victor Font and Joan Laporta among the early favourites. Only then will the club be able to try and convince Messi to sign a contract extension.