Barcelona’s already legendary forward Lionel Messi is officially a free agent after the expiration of his contract at midnight. There were hopes that the Argentine would be convinced to extend his contract, but this was not the case.
The 34-year-old is currently on international duty representing Argentina at the Copa America and it’s no more news that he spent the last year considering whether to extend his contract with the Catalan giants or not.
Messi handed a transfer request to leave Barcelona last summer but it was rejected and led to a rift with then club president Josep Bartomeu who has since been replaced by Joan Laporta.
Reports suggest that Barca are confident a deal can be struck to retain his services as one of the highest-paid players in the world despite the financial woes that La Liga is facing.
Lionel Messi’s deal was reportedly worth £492 million over four seasons although the club’s debt has increased to around £857 million.
The club have made attempts to cut their wage bill in half in the last year, therefore, a new contract for the Argentina international would have to be in reduced terms.
Meanwhile, the 34-year-old forward will lead his nation against Ecuador in their Copa America quarterfinal fixture with him very desperate to win his first international trophy for Argentina.