Lionel Messi contract: Barcelona ‘raise urgency’ to complete deal

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Barcelona are pushing for Lionel Messi to sign a new contract before his current deal runs out on 1 July. Contrary to reports, not everything has been agreed, but in the past 24 hours the club has raised the level of urgency shown in previous weeks, with a desire to announce the agreement before the start of next month.

Messi’s contract renewal is new president Joan Laporta’s main priority and he is currently negotiating it directly with Messi’s father and representative, Jorge Messi. To be able to keep the Argentine, the club will have to reduce their wage bill by around 200m euros (£172m) and to meet La Liga’s Financial Fair Play requirements. Laporta is happy to offer the 34-year-old a new two-year deal.

Barcelona think Messi would like to go to Major League Soccer in the USA after the Qatar World Cup in 2022, although they would love to see him return to the club after that in any role or capacity of his choosing. There had been rumours coming out of the club that everything had been agreed and could all be announced on the 24 June to coincide with the player’s 34th birthday.

However, it is not just the signature that is missing but also agreement on all the points of a very complicated contract.

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