06:42 GMT14 June 2021
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    In August 2020, Lionel Messi told Barca bosses that he wants to quit following a humiliating 2-8 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarterfinal but was denied an exit.

    FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta has told reporters that a new contract for Lionel Messi “is going well, but it’s not done yet”.

    Messi’s mega-money deal at Camp Nou was signed in 2017 and is expected to expire this June, when the 33-year-old will be allowed to leave without being penalised.

    Soccer Football - Copa del Rey - 2020/21 Final - FC Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao - Estadio La Cartuja de Sevilla, Seville, Spain - April 17, 2021 FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi and teammates celebrate winning the Copa del Rey with the trophy
    © REUTERS / MARCELO DEL POZO
    Soccer Football - Copa del Rey - 2020/21 Final - FC Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao - Estadio La Cartuja de Sevilla, Seville, Spain - April 17, 2021 FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi and teammates celebrate winning the Copa del Rey with the trophy
    “Our relationship is very good, Messi loves Barca - we want him to continue. He deserves more and could get a better contract somewhere else but I'm convinced he appreciates the efforts we are making,” Laporta stressed.

    Blaugrana's president added that he remains “moderately optimistic” that he and Messi could clinch a deal that “is within the possibilities of the club and acceptable for the player”.

    “For Leo, it is not about money, it is about the team and its chances of winning. Leo, above all, wants to feel comfortable, to feel appreciated. And then to win,” Laporta said, declining to elaborate what salary the club can offer Messi.

    Last summer, Messi sent a fax saying he wanted to leave the club, with Barcelona insisting that his 700 million euro ($853 million) release clause would have to be met, something that prompted the Argentine football superstar to stay.

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    president, contract, Barcelona, Lionel Messi, Spain
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