FC Barcelona are growing more anxious by the minute as the clock ticks towards the expiration of Lionel Messi’s contract. The Argentine’s current deal expires on June 30, but he has not yet agreed to a sign a contract extension.
While it is believed that Messi had previously agreed to a two-year extension, it appears as though this is not entirely accurate. Club president Joan Laporta himself has admitted that it is not a done deal, but as of last week, he remained optimistic that Messi will sign a new contract.
However, there are now only two days to go before Messi becomes a free agent, and there has been no word from his camp about the extension. According to the BBC, the club is now raising the level of urgency on the situation. Laporta is hoping to announce the extension before July 1, and is now dealing directly with Jorge Messi, the player’s father and agent.
As previously reported, Messi has been offered a new two-year deal, but with a massive pay cut. Barcelona has no choice but to offer the six-time Ballon d’Or winner reduced wages as they continue to grapple with financial issues. On top of that, the club will also need to reduce their squad’s salary by approximately 200 million euros in order to meet the Financial Fair Play rules set by La Liga Santander.Barcelona’s financial crisis set to deepen if Messi renews
Laporta said that he was hoping for the contract to be signed by June 24, Messi’s birthday, but the day came and went with no news on the agreement. Messi is currently in Brazil representing Argentina at the Copa America, with his father handling most of the negotiations.
It now appears as though there are a lot of finer points that needed to be ironed out, with the negotiations still ongoing until now. Messi’s camp has reportedly been going back-and-forth with the club at least ten times, but they are still unable to reach a final agreement.
Numerous clubs are waiting in the wings in anticipation of what will happen next. If the Argentine becomes a free agent, Manchester City and Paris St-Germain are only some of the clubs that are expected to pounce. Not many are expecting Messi to leave the Camp Nou this summer, but until the contract is signed, anything can happen. A move to Major League Soccer in the United States also remains a possibility.