Barcelona give positive update on Messi’s contract

Robin Bairner
Lionel Messi, Barcelona, 2020/21

Lionel Messi will remain a Barcelona player for the 2021/22 season, according to president Joan Laporta, who is optimistic a new deal can be reached for the Argentine.

Messi has been a free agent since 30 June, when his previous contract expired.

The expectation is that the six-time Ballon d’Or winner, who has spent his entire professional career at Barcelona, will sign a new deal with the club.

However, the situation is complicated by the fact that Barcelona have had a strict salary cap placed upon them by La Liga and are finding it hard to cut down their numbers in this regard.

Laporta, though, remains confident that things can be worked out to allow Messi to remain at the club.

“The renewal of Lionel Messi is progressing adequately,” the president told the media at Memphis Depay’s presentation on Thursday.

“Messi has always said that he wants to continue at FC Barcelona, and FC Barcelona have always said we want him to continue.

“We are progressing, taking into account that the contract is complex.”

Laporta ‘confident’ of Messi extension

We are confident that we can do it either by reducing the salary volume or by some formula that is acceptable to the La Liga, which is well disposed to the idea
- Joan Laporta

Asked what is missing from negotiations at present, Laporta would not be drawn into details.

“When it happens, you’ll know it. You will know what we are working on, but I cannot comment on all the details,” he continued.

“We have to follow the rules, but we are confident that we can do it either by reducing the salary volume or by some formula that is acceptable to the La Liga, which is well disposed to the idea.

“We’re satisfied with the attitude of everyone involved in the negotiations. We’re putting the cards on the table so that everyone is happy and I hope that the negotiations continue to progress as they have been up until now.”

Barcelona have thus far failed to offload big-earning players from their payroll, which would have paved a more straightforward path to a new deal for Messi.