End of the Saga? Messi Returns to Spain to Sign New Contract With Barcelona, Report Says
10:16 GMT 29.07.2021 (Updated: 10:17 GMT 29.07.2021)
Earlier this month, Barcelona's newly-elected president Joan Laporta revealed that talks on the football superstar's new contract with the Blaugrana were progressing well. However, recent reports indicate that Messi's future, as well as the future of other famous players at Camp Nou is in jeopardy due to the club's financial crisis.
Lionel Messi has returned to Barcelona with his family to sign a new contract with the club, Sport has reported, citing its sources. According to them, the 34-year-old Argentine will not train with the team until both sides agree on the terms of the new contract, with reports saying that August 2nd is the date the issue has to be finalised.
Per the Catalan media, Messi has agreed to take a 50 percent cut in his weekly salary (around $700,000). Yet, local outlets give conflicting information on the length of his contract, with some newspapers suggesting that Messi will stay at Camp Nou for another two years, while others report that the Argentine superstar will sign a five-year contract.
Still other outlets suggest that Barcelona offered a 10-year contract to the striker, who could spend two more seasons at Camp Nou, another two in the US league MLS, and another six years as Barcelona's ambassador or coach.
25 July, 18:52 GMT
Local media also hint that despite positive statements made by Barcelona's new president Joan Laporta, the Blaugrana may end up in a situation where they sign Messi, but he won't be able to perform for Barcelona until the club meets the wage bill requirements set by La Liga.
In another scenario, the talks on the contract may fall through due to the club's dire financial situation. Barcelona's debt has ballooned to $1.5 billion due to the economic crisis wrought by the coronavirus pandemic. Reports, however, suggest, that the club will likely sacrifice other stars such as Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho, rather than lose Messi, who has become the symbol of Barcelona.