La Liga: Lionel Messi’s Barcelona contract to end on Wednesday, Will it be the end at Camp Nou?

Barcelona still optimistic as Lionel Messi contract saga goes to the wire
Barcelona still optimistic as Lionel Messi contract saga goes to the wire

La Liga, Lionel Messi Barcelona contract: Argentina forward Lionel Messi is yet to agree on a new contract with his childhood club Barcelona as his 21-year-old association with the Catalans nears end at midnight on Wednesday.

La Liga: Lionel Messi’s Barcelona contract to end on Wednesday, Will it be the end at Camp Nou?

Barca’s all-time top scorer, who joined as a 13-year-old in September 2000, could stay beyond June 30 as a free agent, however, and officially not belong to the club until he puts pen to paper on a contract extension.

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The club declined to comment on Messi’s contract situation when contacted by Reuters on Tuesday. Failure to tie Messi to a deal before June 30 would be an embarrassment for Barca and president Joan Laporta while further highlighting the club’s precarious financial situation. The club has a total debt of more than 1 billion euros, while Messi’s soon-to-expire contract, which he signed in 2017, is the most lucrative in world sport, according to a January report in newspaper El Mundo.

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La Liga, Lionel Messi Barcelona contract: Laporta said this month that Messi, who tried to leave the club last year after falling out with the previous chief Josep Maria Bartomeu, was keen to stay but also urged his captain to sign as soon as possible. “I’d like Messi to tell us yes as soon as he can, that would help us in many ways,” he told newspaper La Vanguardia.

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“We’re in constant communication, he is hopeful and I’m grateful to him for showing a willingness to stay.” Messi, who turned 34 last week, became Argentina’s all-time top appearance maker on Monday as he scored twice in a 4-1 win over Bolivia in the Copa America.