BEVERLY HILLS, April 16, (THEWILL) – As the current season draws to a conclusion, the contract situation of the most decorated footballer of Catalan giants, Barcelona, their Argentine talisman, Lionel Messi, remains pending.
Even after the election of a new President, Messi is yet to receive a contract offer from Barcelona despite recent reports suggesting terms had been tabled to the footballer by the club.
THEWILL recalls that the gifted forward, who attempted to force his way out of Camp Nou last summer after he publicly announced his intention to cut ties with the club he had been with for his entire senior career, hit some roadblocks that kept him back on Barcelona.
Barca has endured a tough economic crunch from the damage done to their bottom-line by the pandemic. The club’s financial woes left them with no choice but to undergo a fire sale at the club last year in a bid to trim their eye-watering wage bill, which they followed with pay cuts across board for the remaining players and staff.
Although Messi settled to remain for the season, the Argentine conceded he had found it tough to deal with the departure of fellow South American forward, Luis Suarez, with whom he was very close.
Yet, the fact remains that Messi becomes a free agent at the end of the season when his deal with Barcelona expires. Returnee club President Joan Laporta has insisted over time that he wants Messi to renew terms with Barcelona and has no interest in seeing his star man leave the Catalan side.
But the President concedes that he needs to assess the club’s precarious financial situation before piecing together a deal to offer Messi, especially as the pandemic is still keeping things from returning to normalcy and the financials are still not where they should be.
When the ongoing internal audit of the club’s finances are concluded, Laporta is expected to begin contract negotiations with Barcelona’s all-time leading goalscorer. The football administrator believes that Messi will need to be convinced the club is heading in the right direction before any deal is rubber-stamped and that is why he is making sure to do it right.
Sensing a striking opportunity to get a player easily believed to be one of the world’s greatest ever footballers, a number of football heavyweights have been linked with a summer move for Messi to pry him away from Camp Nou.
Two of the consistent names in this attempt are French champions Paris Saint-Germain and English Premier League champions-elect Manchester City. Most of these stories about the interest of these clubs have originated from rumours but it is not too far to speculate that while PSG may be interested in uniting him with another friend in the person of the Brazilian Neymar, City are using his storied history with their manager Pep Guardiola to tempt him with a move to Manchester.
It is uncertain at the moment where the player himself will decide to move to and or if he will stay put to build with Laporta. But, what is clear is that no contract has been offered and the player is keenly keeping his attention laser-focused on the two silverware opportunities in front of the team, in the La Liga trophy fight and the Copa del Rey final against Athletic Club on Saturday.