Lionel Messi will continue to be a Barcelona player after reaching an agreement with the club on a new five-year deal. CBS soccer insider Fabrizio Romano initially reported that the deal between the two sides was agreed weeks ago with only details remaining to be ironed out before it was made official.
The Argentina international just won the Copa America with his country and is currently on holiday before the 2021-22 season gets underway with Barca with him expected to put pen to paper on the agreement later this month.
Messi, 34, saw his contract expire at the end of last month with the Catalan giants' poor financial health a major obstacle in getting the deal signed and ratified. The new deal will include him taking a significant salary cut as a result.
Lionel Messi will stay at Barcelona, it’s never been in doubt and gonna be announced soon. 🔵🔴 #FCB— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 14, 2021
PSG never had any real chance this summer. NO talks. Only Barça for Leo. ❌
New contract will be until June 2026 instead of 2023 to help the club - as @ferrancorreas reported.
Barca's financial problems are such that new signings Memphis Depay, Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia have not yet been registered to play due to La Liga's strict salary cap rules which dictate that big earners must be sold in order for new arrivals to be eligible to play competitively.
The road to Messi's contract has been a long one. Details of the eye popping numbers of his previous contract were leaked amid his bid last year to leave the only professional club he's ever played for.
Last summer the superstar attempted to activate a clause which would have allowed him to become a free agent, only for Barcelona to threaten to oppose the legality of the move in court. Ultimately, Messi relented and returned for the final year of his deal which expired a couple of weeks ago.
Although teams like Manchester City and PSG had aggressively courted the star when it seemed like he might try and force his way out, it became clear in recent weeks that it was only a matter of time before Messi re-signed with his current club.