Amid speculation about his future, Lionel Messi‘s contract at Barcelona has now officially expired. The Argentinian player is now a free agent, although it is believed he is still locked in negotiations with Barcelona about a potential extension to his deal. The latest development comes after a long-running transfer saga, beginning when Messi tried to leave the club last year.
There are numerous suitors for Messi, with Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain looking the most likely. Messi, meanwhile, has previously discussed his desire to one day play in the MLS. Despite this, there is still a strong possibility that Barcelona will convince their captain and record goalscorer to commit his future to the club he joined as a teenager.
According to reports from Spanish football expert Guillem Balague, Barcelona recently “raised the level of urgency” and “urgently accelerated” talks, hoping to tie Messi down to a two-year-deal. One potential stumbling block is Barcelona’s precarious financial situation, with the club believed to need to shave €200m euros (approximately $237m USD) from their wage bill in order to keep Messi and comply with La Liga’s Financial Fair Play requirements.
For more background on Messi’s contract situation and future, we recently looked into whether or not he could finally be leaving Barcelona.