Lionel Messi’s contract talks with Barcelona are ‘progressing adequately well’, insists club president Joan Laporta… with the superstar still a free agent as Nou Camp chiefs look to fix their financial dilemma
- Lionel Messi remains a free agent while negotiations with Barcelona continue
- His deal at the Nou Camp was allowed to run down despite the steps forward
- Joan Laporta has given an update and revealed the talks are ‘progressing well’
- Barcelona must tackle their financial crisis as they look to sign Messi up again
Barcelona president Joan Laporta has revealed the club are getting ever closer to agreeing a deal to renew Lionel Messi’s contract.
Messi, 34, is now a free agent after both camps were unable to thrash out terms before his previous deal ran down on June 30 – although negotiations are continuing.
And, despite the lack of a breakthrough, Laporta is confident that Messi will eventually put pen to paper and commit his future to Barca once again.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta says the club are making progress in talks with Lionel Messi
He told Mago Pop in Spain, via Marca: ‘[Messi’s deal] is progressing adequately well.’
Having now finally won his first ever international trophy with Argentina following the Copa America final triumph against Brazil, Messi will soon turn his attention to his uncertain club future.
With Barcelona currently consumed by an all-encompassing financial crisis, Messi has been coy over what lies ahead for him.
Laporta has described the negotiations with free agent Messi as ‘progressing adequately well’
Ronald Koeman admitted recently that the dilemma is weighing on his mind, but he also expressed his belief that Laporta will be able to find a solution.
‘Whenever an issue isn’t resolved, you have to be concerned,’ Koeman told Spanish newspaper Marca at a charity golf tournament.
‘But I have full confidence in our president to fix this issue; it’s very important for the club, but also for LaLiga, that the best player in the world remains and we all have to make an effort to ensure he continues with us.’
Barcelona will have to make huge cuts to their wage bill because LaLiga has its own Financial Fair Play rules, which limit what each club can spend on salaries.
Messi (pictured holding the Copa del Rey trophy) saw his contract at the Nou Camp run down
It has been reported by RAC 1 that the Nou Camp outfit must wipe €187million (£156m) from their existing wage bill – with the limit now €160m (£136m) compared to last year’s €347m (£296m).
This stumbling block has been preventing Barcelona from officially tying up any loose ends concerning Messi’s new contract, meaning they will have to first fix the gaping hole in their finances to get the deal over the line.
Meanwhile, Messi is losing around €100,000 (£86,000) a day following his departure from the club, according to L’Equipe.
Despite Messi’s wishes to stay, Barcelona must first find a fix to their nightmare financial woes
He was previously earning €139m per year, but this figure will take a significant nosedive should he pledge his future to Barcelona once again.
For now, however, Messi will continue to celebrate his Copa America silverware, and Laporta has said the result made his club ‘cry with joy’.
‘All the Catalans, Barcelona, Catalonia and the entire football world are happy because Leo won the Copa America,’ Laporta added.
Messi finally won his first international trophy with Argentina with their Copa America triumph
‘It is very exciting to see the best player in football history get excited about winning a title like this and he made all of us cry with joy.
‘He is very happy, we are all happy, I am happy for Leo, together with his teammates, and that Argentina are once again in the elite – and also for [Sergio] Aguero.
‘I am happy for Messi’s family, for Argentina, for Barcelona who are recognised, admired and loved for having this bond with Leo.’