No Barcelona return as Messi goes on holiday

Cameron Smith

Lionel Messi has not returned to Barcelona after his Copa America triumph, and has instead began a three-week holiday with his family.

The Barcelona icon finally ended his international trophy drought with victory in the 2021 Copa America final against Brazil, after Angel Di Maria's goal enough to secure the win.

Messi himself won the Player of the Tournament award having scored four and assisted five in Argentina's run to the final.

Having narrowly missed out on an international trophy on several occasions during his career, it will have come as a huge relief for Messi to finally win to the Copa America.

At club level, his contract at Barcelona ended on 30 June and despite an apparent willingness to extend this by both parties, an arrangement hasn't come to fruition yet.

So, arguably the best player in the world is currently a free agent, and if Barcelona can't choke up the funds to renew his deal, offers will no doubt come pouring in for him to move elsewhere.

Whilst contract negotiations are ongoing, according to Mundo Deportivo, Messi has decided to take some time off, and relax on holiday with his family.

Can Barcelona afford Messi's contract?

Whilst both parties appear willing to renew Messi's contract, Barcelona's financial situation makes it far more difficult. Although Messi brings in more revenue to the club than his wages cost, the Blaugrana have already exceeded La Liga's salary limit by £200,000 and need to reduce it.

They risk not being able to register ANY new signings, and if Messi and his extortionate wages are to be added on, it could spell trouble.

For the time being, Messi's future is up in the air, but it's feasible that he won't be playing in a Barcelona shirt next season.