- Lionel Messi’s contract with Barcelona has officially expired and the club’s president is giving updates about his status
- President Joan Laporta has stated that contract extension is being delayed due to the La Liga financial rules
- Both Manchester City and PSG are battling to snap up the Argentine, but Laporta insists that Messi wants to remain with the Catalan club
With Lionel Messi’s deal at Barcelona officially expired, Barcelona president Joan Laporta has stated that La Liga financial rules is holding the contract renewal, GOAL reports.
For the first time in his professional career, Messi became a free agent on July 1 following the expiration of his contract.
Earlier, La Liga president Javier Tebas warned that Barcelona must reduce their wage pack to be able to accommodate Messi for the forthcoming season.
But Barcelona president Laporta maintained that the Catalan giants want Messi to remain at the club while the Argentine is also interested in staying back.
Sergio Ramos and European giants in advanced negotiations over free transfer after Real Madrid contract expired
He told Onda Cero via ESPN:
"We want him to stay and Leo wants to stay; everything is on track.
"We still have the financial fair play [issue] to sort out ... we're in the process of finding the best solution for all parties."
Barca had the biggest salary cap in Spain prior to the pandemic at €671 million per year, but as of March, that had been almost halved to €347m.
The clear-out began last summer with the departures of Luis Suarez, Arturo Vidal and Ivan Rakitic, but Barca need to further reduce their wage bill to be able to register Messi's new deal and their four summer signings: Sergio Aguero, Eric Garcia, Memphis Depay and Emerson Royal.
Lionel Messi will be free to join any club of his choice this summer following the expiration of his contract with the Camp Nou outfit.
The six-time Ballon d'Or winner has been linked with Manchester City and Paris Saint Germain since he declared his intention to leave the Catalans in August 2020.
Lionel Messi, Sergio Ramos top list of 11 big players who are officially free agents and can join any club
And now, his contract has elapsed and it is left to be seen where the Argentine will be playing next season as he tops the list of 11 top stars who became free agents from July 1, including Sergio Ramos and Juan Mata, Diego Costa and David Luis.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that Argentina extended their unbeaten at the ongoing Copa America following a resounding 4-1 win over Bolivia, Sports Star reports.
Lionel Messi who grabbed two goals on the night has now made his 148th appearance to become La Albiceleste’s most-capped player of all time.
Papu Gomez and Lautaro Martinez also grabbed a goal each in the encounter meaning Erwin Saavedra’s strike was a mere consolation.