ALMOST OFFICIAL: Lionel Messi and Barcelona agree free transfer

Tom Weber
Tom Weber
  • 26 Apr 2023 14:14 CDT
  • 3 min read
Lionel Messi, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, 2022/23
© ProShots

Barcelona and Lionel Messi are on the verge of reaching an agreement that will see the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner return to the Camp Nou, claim reports in Spain.

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The Blaugrana have made no secret of their intention to bring the club legend back in recent months. Out of contract at PSG in the summer, talks over a return have become increasingly concrete of late with reports in Spain suggesting on Monday that the 35-year-old had made a final decision on his future: to sign for Barcelona.

However, one of the biggest roadblocks to any deal has always been the club's dire financial situation. Needing to shave €200 million off their wage bill to comply with next season's Financial Fair Play regulations and with match-fixing allegations looming ominously over the Camp Nou, Barcelona will need approval from LaLiga to complete a move for Messi.

READ: Barcelona to build Messi museum to fund Argentine's return

This approval has not yet been granted, therefore the deal is not officially done, but breaking news coming out of Catalonia now report that personal terms between Messi and Barcelona are all but agreed.

Lionel Messi
© ProShots - Lionel Messi

Advanced talks

According to Catalunya Ràdio, talks between the camp of the player and the club are advanced and a 'total agreement' will be reached shortly. If completed - again, pending league approval - the deal would see Messi stay at Barcelona for two seasons, with his final farewell set to take place at the renovated and expanded Camp Nou, accommodating more than 100,000 people.

Moreover, the report goes on, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets would definitely remain with the Blaugrana for another season if the Messi deal gets done. Both players will likely be expected to take sizeable pay cuts, however, to help trim down Barcelona's wage bill.

READ: Messi's ‘SCANDALOUS’ PSG demand provokes outrage in France

Barcelona anticipate that re-signing Messi will help the club get back on even keel financially, with some reports claiming that they expect Messi alone to generate as much as 25 to 33 per cent of the club's revenue next season.

Read more about: La Liga, Ligue 1, Barcelona, PSG, Lionel Messi

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