What is Lionel Messi doing now?
Lionel Messi’s future as a Barcelona may be causing some degree of anxiety at Camp Nou, but the iconic attacker appears to be laidback about what lies ahead for him.
Although there is still interest from Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain quietly being discussed, Messi remains likely to sign a new contract with Barcelona.
Remarkably, it has been estimated that the Argentine, who led his trophy to Copa America glory in July, is losing around €100,000 each day he is out of contract. In total, then, he has missed out on earnings totalling €3.1 million since his contract expired on 30 July.
Having enjoyed an astronomical contract at Barcelona, though, Messi is not short of money.
The Argentine has an agreement in place that will see him return to the club on a five-year deal on 50% of the salary from his previous contract. The lack of earning will be made up due to the length of the contract as he will continue to be paid even if he moves clubs or retires.
Barcelona, however, desperately need to reduce their wage bill before they can bring him back as they are currently breaching La Liga regulations.
Messi's chilled out summer
Messi became a free agent while playing for Argentina at the Copa America and helped his country secure a first national title since 1993 thanks to a 1-0 win in the final over Brazil.
Messi subsequently departed on holiday to Miami with his family. He posted images on his Instagram feed of himself with partner Antonela Roccuzzo as well as sons Thiago, Mateo and Ciro.
He returned briefly to Barcelona and avoided questions about his future.
After speculation he might return to training, Messi instead jetted off on another holiday to Ibiza, where he spent time on a luxury yatch along with Atletico Madrid striker Luis Suarez.
Suarez has since returned to training but Messi remains on holiday. On Monday, he was spotted with the family of Suarez and Cesc Fabregas.
Will Lionel Messi leave Barcelona?
While Messi’s future now likely remains at Barcelona, it is not certain due to the club’s difficult financial problems.
Barca have reportedly agreed a five-year deal with the six-time Ballon d’Or winner that could see him earn around 50% of his previous wage.
The stumbling block comes from other players. Barcelona have been instructed to slash their wage bill to an acceptable level for La Liga but are struggling to offload players. The likes of Philippe Coutinho, Samuel Umtiti and Miralem Pjanic could all leave.
In reports from Spain, it is stated that the Catalans have given themselves a 15 August deadline to tidy up their financial issues and finalise Messi’s contract.
Barca, meanwhile, are desperately seeking a solution to Antoine Griezmann’s future, with the France star currently the third-highest earning player in world football. If they were able to offload him, it could unlock Messi’s future more quickly.