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Messi’s Contract Ends, Barca President Responds

Lionel Messi’s contract with FC Barcelona has officially come to an end and the Argentine is currently a free agent, but president Joan Laporta has called for fans to remain calm.

The 36-year-old and Barcelona were not able to agree on an extension before the end of June, when Messi’s latest deal expired. As a consequence, the six-time Ballin d’Or winner is out of contract for a first time in 7 504 days.

However, Barcelona president Joan Laporta has called for fans of the Blaugrana to remain calm, with talks between the player and the club said to be going on behind the scenes.

“Messi? We want him to stay and Leo wants to stay, everything is on track,” he told Spanish radio station Onda Cerro

“We have the issue of financial fair play, we are in the process of finding the best solution for both parties.”

Barca’s financials, though, are stretched, with Laporta recently admitting he didn’t expect the situation to be as bad as he found it. 

Messi, meanwhile, has been the club’s highest-paid player for many years, with Forbes stating his salary accounts for $92 million (R1.3 billion).

The contract dilemma comes around 11 months after Messi told Barca via a burofax that he wants to leave but then president Josep Maria Bartomeu basically forced him to stay.

The 36-year-old’s feelings towards the only club he’s ever played for are understood to be much better in 2021, but it remains to be seen whether the club can present him with a contract that will make him put pen to paper on a new deal.