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Lionel Messi’s Barcelona contract to expire in two days

FOOTBALL By Mirror | June 28th 2021
Barcelona's Lionel Messi [Reuters, Albert Gea]

Lionel Messi and Barcelona are close to agreeing a new deal following a season of uncertainty.

A two-year deal is set to be signed just in the nick of time with the Argentine's current contract due to expire in two days time.

Ever since the six-time Ballon d'Or winner signalled his intent to quit the Nou Camp last summer via a fax there has been speculation regarding his future.

Barcelona are in financial turmoil as they try to make it through the pandemic but keeping their prized asset has always been their main objective.

Joan Laporta returned for a second spell as president earlier this year and vowed to keep Messi - a promise he looks set to deliver on.

Last month The Barcelona chief said: “Leo Messi's boots will continue on the Camp Nou pitch. He wants to stay. I do not contemplate a no.

"But it isn't easy. We'll do what we can. There is no need to seduce him, he is determined if there are a series of circumstances to stay."

The club legend is now poised to sign contract extension until June 2023, according to Fabrizio Romano, as reported by Marca.

It puts to bed months of rumours with Manchester City and PSG both thought to be keen.

Only Barcelona's insistence on demanding his astronomical release clause of £625m meant Messi remained in Catalunya last summer.

The Spanish giants will, according to reports, need to free up £170m if Messi does, as is expected, sign a fresh deal.

Philippe Coutinho and Miralem Pjanic could be offloaded in an effort to raise such funds with both players failing to match expectations thus far in La Liga.

Ronald Koeman has been the man left to pick up the broken pieces having been named as Quique Setien's successor last summer.

He endured a mixed campaign as he looked to integrate several academy prospects into the first team.

The likes of Pedri, Ansu Fati and Francisco Trincao have all impressed over the past 12 months.

Messi was able to help the Catalans lift the Copa del Rey, further adding to his incredible trophy haul at the Nou Camp.

In La Liga though Barcelona fell short as both Madrid clubs finished ahead of them. For sometime it looked to be a three-horse race but poor results in the final stretch saw them fall out of contention.

Reinforcements have already been added for next season with Sergio Aguero, Eric Garcia and Memphis Depay all joining on free transfers.

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