Talks between Lionel Messi and FC Barcelona over a new contract are “progressing adequately”, according to club president Joan Laporta.
Six-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi, who has spent his entire senior career at Camp Nou, is now officially a free agent after his FC Barcelona deal expired at the end of June.
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He has been linked with Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in the past, but the 34-year-old is widely expected to remain with the Blaugrana in spite of their financial problems.
However, Barca must first reduce their wage bill if they are to comply with La Liga’s financial fair play rules and offer Messi the deal he is holding out for.
Messi’s club future is now back in focus after helping Argentina to Copa America success last week and Barca president Laporta remains hopeful terms can be agreed.
“[Messi’s renewal] is progressing adequately,” he told reporters during the presentation of Mago Pop’s show “Nothing is Impossible”.
“All the Catalans, Barcelona, Catalunya and the entire football world are happy because Leo won the Copa America.
“It is very exciting to see the best player in football history get excited about winning a title like this and he made all of us cry with joy.
“I am happy for Messi’s family, for Argentina, for FC Barcelona who are recognised, admired and loved for having this bond with Leo.”
Messi was again hugely influential for FC Barcelona last season, finishing as La Liga’s top scorer and managing 38 goals and 12 assists across all competitions.
In spite of the speculation surrounding his club future, Messi carried his club form onto the international stage by inspiring Argentina to their first Copa America crown since 1993.
He scored four goals and chipped in with five assists to win his first piece of silverware for his country. (NAN)