An update on Barcelona’s efforts to tie star man Lionel Messi down to fresh terms has surfaced on Saturday evening.
Chatter surrounding the future of 6-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi has come back to the fore in a major way of late.
For much of the season, it appeared as though a Camp Nou exit was imminent for the Argentine, on the back of a failed attempt to bring an end to his long-time Barca stint last summer.
In turn, it was widely assumed that Messi would simply bide his time, before making his exit official at the end of the campaign, following the expiration of his contract.
The closing months of the season, however, saw something of a shift in both the performances and, crucially, the attitude of the world’s greatest player.
Messi regularly looked back to his imperious best, leading Barcelona to both a Copa del Rey triumph and a surprise (albeit ultimately short-lived) resurgence in La Liga.
Significantly, this came on the back of a long-awaited change at the helm in Catalunya, after Josep Maria Bartomeu was replaced by the returning Joan Laporta.
Such developments, in turn, led to renewed hope that Messi would, in the end, be convinced that the twilight years of his career lie at the Camp Nou.
La Liga in the dark
Last week, however, the 34-year-old officially became a free agent.
Messi’s Barcelona contract has now expired, with the Argentine free to put pen to paper on terms with any other club across the globe, if he so chooses.
Barca, of course, remain widely expected to reach an agreement with their club captain, with reports late last month having pointed towards negotiations between the two parties being ‘advanced’.
As outlined above, though, on Saturday, a fresh spanner has been thrown in the works.
Earlier today, the Blaugrana faithful were no doubt thrilled to hear of remarkable claims across Spain that the presidents of a number of rival La Liga clubs were ready to contribute to the finances of Messi’s new contract, to ensure that the veteran does not move on this summer.
This comes with those in positions of power in Spain fully aware of the potential damage, financially and commercially, which would be caused by the planet’s most gifted player opting to test his talents elsewhere.
Such outlandish suggestions, however, have this evening been firmly shut down.
As per reports from a host of reliable sources, Barcelona have not moved any closer to tieing Messi down over the last couple of days.
This comes with the Catalans, as things stand, actually unable to register the Argentine, due to the club’s dire financial situation.
Joan Laporta and co. are fully aware that the hefty financial outlay which will be required to prolong the stay of the club’s star player means that the salary hold already present on their books needs to be reduced.
Further sales will therefore likely be required before an agreement with Messi is confirmed, or any of new signings Memphis Depay, Sergio Aguero or Eric Garcia are officially registered with La Liga.
The division’s chiefs, in turn, remain in the dark when it comes to the terms of the South American’s new deal.
La Liga have not authorised Barcelona to register Lionel Messi’s new contract yet, per reports. As of today, they don’t even know they terms of the deal
— Samuel Marsden (@samuelmarsden) July 10, 2021
Insisto. No hay novedades sobre el acuerdo de Messi con el Barcelona. También La liga desconoce aún el posible acuerdo de Messi con el Barcelona. Por lo que no puede autorizarlo. Nada a cambiado a 10 de julio. El Barcelona debe reducir mucho su masa salarial para inscribirle
— Alfredo Martínez (@Alfremartinezz) July 10, 2021
This article was edited by Ben Browning.