Lionel Messi is a free player now after his contract with his long-time club expired on Wednesday. The Argentine striker, 34 is now officially free but Barcelona is confident of retaining him though nothing has been confirmed yet.
It is worth noting that Lionel Messi had once expressed his desire to leave the club at the end of the 2019-20 season. But after prolonged negotiations, Barcelona finally managed to retain him for another season. Messi joined Barca in September 2000 at the age of 13.
No Final Agreement In Place As Yet Between Lionel Messi And Barcelona
There is a verbal agreement in place between the Catalan team and Lionel Messi but a formal contract is yet to be signed. Barcelona has reportedly delayed the contract as there are La Liga financial controls to be looked into. A wage cut appears imminent.
Barcelona’s President, Joan Laporta said that his contract has to tie in with the requirements of the Spanish league system. He said that talks have progressed and Messi wants to stay. The club is making sure that they retain him, but there are laws to be adhered to.
Laporta said that Barcelona would ensure that he gets the best team that he deserves.
Barcelona is the highest revenue earner in football, though there has been a drop of 125 million euros last year as the pandemic disrupted sports around the world.
The La Liga authorities had tied down Barcelona’s budget to 1.47 billion euros for the 2019-20 season. It shrank to 733 million and is expected to fall further this season as the empty stadium has taken its toll on revenues.
Though Messi has one of the most lucrative deals in sports worldwide, a wage drop is on the cards. Barcelona has not won the Champions Cup since 2015 and has not won the La Liga for the past two years.
One of the greatest players ever, Lionel Messi is currently playing for his country, Argentina at the Copa America cup. They will be up against Ecuador on July 4.