Barcelona are in a cash crisis amid the coronavirus pandemic, with under-fire president Josep Maria Bartomeu trying to balance the books in his final few months in the role.
But star striker Lionel Messi doesn’t want to accept a 30 percent pay cut at Barcelona, Spanish sports daily Marca has reported.
According to the outlet, Messi remains furious at the sacking of Ernesto Valverde back in January and was also underwhelmed by the appointment of Quique Setien as his replacement.
Messi was further angered by the club’s Champions League exit to Bayern Munich last season, with the La Liga giants being humbled 8-2 by the current Bundesliga champions.
But according to Marca, the Argentine maestro may still be upset with club president Josep Maria Bartomeu for denying him a move away from the Nou Camp, with the 33-year-old hoping to join Manchester City.
Now, Barcelona have asked their players to take a 30 percent pay cut and it seems that for Messi this could be the final straw.
Spanish journalist Eduardo Inda claims Messi has already rejected the pay cut, saying: “There are four players who accept the pay cut. They are Ter Stegen, De Jong, Lenglet, Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto. Messi and Pique disagree. And they will have no choice but to lower their salary.”
Inda claims that Barca's French stars Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele and Samuel Umtiti are all siding with Messi over his refusal to accept a lower salary.
Bartomeu goal in the coming weeks, as reported by Marca, is to lower the wages of the first-team squad by 25 percent while promising them an improved salary in the latter stages of their deals, potentially adding additional costs to the club's wage bill over the next few years.