Barcelona begin contract negotiations with Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona and president Joan Laporta. (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona and president Joan Laporta. (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

The most awaited news for every cule has finally arrived. Barcelona have finally begun negotiations for the renewal of club captain Lionel Messi. Since the start of the season, fans across the globe were closely following the developments regarding Messi’s future after the infamous burofax incident followed by exposure of the strained relationship between then-President Josep Maria Bartomeu and Messi.

Eventually, the shortcomings of the previous board were heavily exposed and one after the other, problems started surfacing. Barcelona’s finances were draining, like blood spurting out when veins are cut open like sieves, destroying the Barcelona image. Bartomeu and his board had to pay the price and he had to resign.

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This didn’t solve Messi’s issue. The lack of a sporting project at the club and the inability to go deep in the Champions League regularly raised several doubts in the Argentine’s mind. Messi has always wanted a competitive team around him, with whom he can excel and help Blaugrana lift trophies and most importantly clinch the trophy that has eluded his hands for six years – the Champions League.

Joan Laporta was elected as the new president and one of the biggest promises he made to the cules was that he will try his level best to convince Messi to stay and provide him with a healthy and functioning team. At the start of the season, it was almost certain that the 33-year-old will part ways with his beloved club after the end of the season with Manchester City and PSG lurking in the background.

Barcelona and Lionel Messi begin contract negotiations

Since the turn of the year, there appears to be a paradigm shift in the equation. Messi who looked unhappy before was now looking happy and there was growing confidence that the appointment of Laporta along with Barca’s improvements on the pitch would convince the Argentine to stay at Camp Nou.

Laporta was always destined to meet Messi’s father, Jorge Messi,  who is also his agent, to discuss a possible renewal and to know the intentions of the player. Laporta in fact publicly stated that he is going to do everything in his power to retain Messi’s services.

According to Sport, Barcelona and Messi have finally started to negotiate the 33-year-old’s renewal. The report states that Jorge Messi and Laporta have had several discussions in the past few days, laying down the base of the contract.

However, there will be a strict internal audit keeping in mind Barca’s financial state before offering Messi the final offer. The initial round of talks seems to be positive and the father-son duo has welcomed the proposal.

Blaugrana want to tie down Messi on a lifetime contract, meaning keeping him beyond his playing years, probably in some other capacity. At this point, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner is not looking for a lucrative, extravagant contract but instead wants a reliable and sustaining sporting project that enables the club to have a strong foothold in Spain and challenge for the Champions League.

Laporta is also trying to bring someone like Erling Haaland which may just further act as a catalyzer in convincing Messi to stay. PSG and Manchester City continue to track the Blaugrana captain. Messi will make a decision at the end of the season and will listen to Barca’s final offer before making the call on his future.

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Will Lionel Messi renew with Barcelona?