The 6-time Ballon d’Or winner and Argentina legend, Lionel Messi, is a man without a club for the first time in his professional career. His lucrative deal with Football Club Barcelona expired midnight, leaving Barcelona ace the biggest free agent on the football market.
Ever since being promoted to FC Barcelona’s first team in 2004, Lionel Messi has been the face of the Catalan club and has been at the top of the football pyramid. Thus, the 34-year old having his contract run out is a bit surprising. Although, FC Barcelona are calm and extremely hopeful of signing a new deal with their main man. If the news from both the club and Messi camp is correct, a renewal is inching closer.
Joan Laporta, President of FC Barcelona, in the club’s assembly meeting last week, said, “The new contract with Messi is going well, but it’s not done. If you ask for my feeling, I would say I am moderately optimistic. He knows the important effort we are making.”
On the other hand, Messi is also aware of concrete interests from other football clubs like Manchester City and Paris Saint Germain. Due to their financial backing are the only two clubs that can afford Lionel Messi’s salary. As per his recently expired 4-year deal with Barcelona, Messi collected a whopping 138 Million Euros annually, making him the highest-paid footballer on the planet. But like always, he still maintains Barcelona as the club of his heart and prioritizes a renewal with them.
Spanish football writer Guillem Balague, on his channel, said, “Messi’s contract renewal is new president Joan Laporta’s main priority and he is currently negotiating it directly with Messi’s father and representative, Jorge Messi. To be able to keep the Argentine, the club will have to reduce their wage bill by around 200m euros (£172m) to meet La Liga’s Financial Fair Play requirements. Messi knows of the interest from other clubs, but up to now has not negotiated anything with them, waiting first to hear what Barcelona was offering.”
According to reports, Barcelona plans to offer Messi a 5-year deal, which would see him continue at the club for the next two seasons. Following this, he’ll serve as an ambassador to the club in Major League Soccer (MLS) in the US. He has been at the club since the age of 11, so both the club and fans would want to see their talisman end his career at FC Barcelona. Watching Lionel Messi play football is and will always be a privilege.