Soccer

Messi now set to LEAVE Barcelona after fresh contract talks break down

Is it the END for Lionel Messi at Barcelona? Club legend ‘has changed his mind’ about renewing contract and it is ‘almost impossible’ for him to stay – with sensational U-turn coming after he told club he ‘wasn’t happy with pay-cut or quality of the squad’

  • Reports have sparked in Spain stating that Lionel Messi will leave Barcelona
  • The Argentine was widely expected to be far down the line in signing a new deal
  • Cash-strapped Barca were poised to retain the player after a sizeable pay-cut
  • Sources in Spain now state Messi’s renewed deal is ‘almost impossible’

Lionel Messi is reportedly on the brink of walking away from a fresh deal with Barcelona, despite being widely expected to remain with the Spanish club.

Messi became a free agent this summer after his original contract with Barca expired, though was set to re-sign with the club following positive initial talks between all parties.

Messi was in line for a fresh long-term deal, albeit on lower pay terms. Now, however, breaking reports in Spain claim that the agreement is all but dead.

Lionel Messi is reportedly on the brink of walking away from Barcelona after talks broke down

According to Catalan radio outlet RAC1, Messi’s situation at Barca has now become ‘irreversible’. 

He is, it is reported, ‘more out of Barca than ever’ and ‘does not like the current squad’. 

The 34-year-old is said to have communicated his opinions to the club on Wednesday upon his return to the city, following an off-season holiday with his wife and children.

Yet as the news began to break online and spread like wildfire, Messi’s father and agent opted to publicly speak out and re-shared a report of Messi’ impending exit with the simple caption: ‘Lie.’ 

The latest reported developments will come as a hammer blow to returning president Laporta

Barca had been banking on their talisman and club legend committing the remainder of his career to the Nou Camp, though have been hindered for weeks by their dire financial situation.

The forward was set to take a 50 per cent pay deduction from his previous deal, which was worth in excess of £425million over four years, in order for Barca to be able to re-register him with La Liga.

This would have meant that Messi’s earnings would have been slashed by £250,000 every week on the proposed new five-year contract.  

Reports in Spain further state that a meeting over food took place on Thursday between Barca’s hierarchy and Messi’s father, along with other representatives.

It is said that this meeting did not reach a positive resolution, and has blown the whole situation wide open. 

Messi’s father has since appeared to acknowledge that while some difficult obstacles have arisen in the negotiation process, talks remain ongoing.

Messi returned to Barcelona on Thursday following a holiday with his wife and children

Messi has been heavily linked with both Manchester City and Paris Saint Germain, and the shock developments come just days after the superstar met up with his former team-mate and close friend Neymar.

Neymar left Barca for PSG in 2017, and has spoke frequently about his desire to play with the Argentine again one day. 

On Wednesday Neymar uploaded an image to social media, showing himself with Messi along with PSG trio Angel Di Maria, Leo Parades and Marco Veratti, with the caption: ‘amigos.’

The image has now sent the rumour mill into overdrive, with many fans believing Messi has been talked around by the PSG quartet into swapping Catalonia for Paris.

Given his contract at the Nou Camp has officially expired, Barca will be powerless to stop Messi joining a major European rival this summer. 

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