Barcelona and Lionel Messi who will clock 33 years on Wednesday have started negotiations over the renewal of the player’s contract, after the deadline to confirm whether the Argentine will continue at the club passed at the start of June.
According to Spanish media, Marca, negotiations have taken place between club President Josep Maria Bartomeu and the player’s father, Jorge Messi, with both parties agreeing on the main terms of the contract.
The club has proposed an extension of two years which the player has initially agreed to, and would mean the Argentine’s commitment to the club would be until 2023, but as in previous deals, Messi will have the option of ending the contract at the end of every season.
This term is non-negotiable for Messi as he doesn’t want to be tied down to a contract, and wants to be able to decide at the end of every season whether or not he is physically fit to continue competing at the top level, and for this reason there will always be a clause allowing him to leave if he sees it appropriate.
The player’s salary will also not improve, and this agreement has been reached with both parties considering the economic impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on the finances of the club and the whole footballing world.
With the duration of the contract and the player’s salary being agreed, Bartomeu and Jorge Messi will continue to discuss other aspects of the deal.
It’s difficult to know when an agreement will be reached, but according to club sources, negotiations are progressing well between the two parties with everyone involved happy with the extension and satisfied with the terms being discussed.
Messi’s contract renewal is fundamental for the club, which is why Bartomeu immediately got to work after it was confirmed that the player was staying until 2021, and although everyone believed he wouldn’t activate the clause to leave, they prefer the matter to be resolved contractually.
The contract of goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen is also an important issue at the moment, with the German previously agreeing to suspend talks during lockdown.
However, now with things going back to normal, it’s time to restart the negotiations, with the player’s salary demands being the main stumbling block previously, leading to talk that Bartomeu himself may have to get involved in order to reach an agreement between club and player.