The future of one of the world’s most famous sportspeople has been up in the air for the last few years. Barcelona and Argentina soccer star, Lionel Messi, had been trying to break away from the Catalan club since the summer of 2020. Despite the ongoing financial problems at Barca, the club has begun reporting it has agreed with its legendary captain. Messi is reported to be prepared to sign a deal that includes a 50-percent pay cut on his previous salary.
The BBC is reporting the Barcelona player has verbally agreed to a five-year deal tieing him to his boyhood club until 2026. The 34-year-old Argentinian would be 39 by the end of the contract, which few experts believe will be completed. Messi is currently paid around $150 million per season but has agreed to a 50-percent pay cut for the 2021-22 campaign.
The new contract agreement will be a relief for returning Barcelona President, Juan Laporta. The returning President has stated his main concern has always been to keep Messi at the Catalan club for the remainder of his career. Laporta has returned to a club in financial distress because of a decade of mismanagement, with the club taking out loans to pay for new players and stadium improvements. The financial situation has become so bad officials with La Liga have refused to allow them to sign new players until their wage bill is cut.
Lionel Messi’s future has been the source of intense speculation over the last two seasons following his attempt to leave the club at the end of the 2019-20 campaign. Messi and his team fought over a possible break clause in his contract coming into effect at the end of the 2019-20 season. A similar break clause has been inserted for the end of the 2023-24 season and will provide an opportunity for the Argentine to fulfill his dream of playing in the U.S. to end his career.
There has been intense speculation about the future of Lionel Messi for the last few years, with the Argentine forward linked to top clubs, including Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City. The structure of the new deal will see Messi receive bonuses to replace the loss of half his annual salary. Messi remains on a planned vacation following the first international trophy of his career at the Copa America tournament.