Messi ‘will have to take pay cut to stay at Barcelona’

Stefan Bienkowski
Stefan Bienkowski Updated: 17 May 2021 23:30 CEST 2 min read
Messi ‘will have to take pay cut to stay at Barcelona’

Barcelona presidential candidate Toni Freixa has admitted that Lionel Messi will have to take a pay-cut if he hopes to stay at the club. 

The Spanish giants are in the process of renegotiating the contracts of their players and staff to make up a €300 million deficit in the club’s budget due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

And that, according to Freixa, means that even Messi will have to reconsider his current wage package with the club. 

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  • “With Leo [Messi] we will speak calmly, face to face with the best for Barca on the horizon,” Feixa told Spanish media. “To him, as to all the players who have to renew or come, we will make an offer that of course will not be able to match the conditions that he has had until now.”

    The presidential candidate’s remarks come just six months after Messi made a startling transfer request to leave the club, following another disappointing season by the club. 

    The 33-year-old star only rescinded his demands when La Liga confirmed his release clause would not be voided, forcing Messi to reluctantly agree to staying on. 

    If the Argentina international and Barcelona can’t agree a new deal before the end of the season, Messi will be able to sign a deal with a new club due to his current contract expiring in the summer. 

    Yet Barcelona will be limited in what they can offer their star player. In a recent statement on the club’s website, interim president Carles Tusquets confirmed that cutting costs across the club would limit Barcelona’s ability to buy new players or offer improved contracts. 

    “I feel we should only make a move if a player can come at zero cost. Or if a player is sold in the transfer window, then we could buy,” he explained, having indicated the intention is to hold an election around Christmas.

    “But all these decisions can be reversed by the next presidency. If the new Board wants to go back on everything we decided, then they are free to do so.”