Six months before the end of his deal at Camp Nou deal, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner can begin formal discussions over his future plans
Barcelona star Lionel Messi is now free to discuss terms with any clubs, as his current contract at Camp Nou expires on June 30.
With less than six months left on his existing deal, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner’s future is up for grabs, with Manchester City, Inter and Paris Saint-Germain thought to be among the leading contenders to sign the 33-year-old.
Although Messi has been associated with Barcelona since he joined them in 2001 as a youth, his future hangs in the balance after he came close to departing the Catalan side in the summer of 2020.
Ultimately, Messi was unwilling to go to court over Barca’s refusal to part company with him and would eventually stay put, but with his deal concluding in June, the Argentina star may find himself playing senior football for another club for the first time come August.
Messi has been unhappy with Barcelona’s lack of competitiveness in recent months. The club relinquished the Primera Division title to Real Madrid in the summer and have failed to fire under new boss Ronald Koeman.
Having habitually challenged for the title since Messi debuted for the club in 2004, to simply be fighting just to make the Champions League next season represents quite a comedown.
Goal confirmed that neither the player nor his father, Jorge, have been in touch with any club. There has not been a single meeting or any contact with any other side, be it informal or casual, due to the sporting law that prohibits it.
Now, Messi is no longer bound by such a rule and can begin negotiations with any side he wishes.
It is not expected that he will decide before Barca’s presidential election on January 24, with all the candidates indicating the importance of retaining Messi at Camp Nou.
However, with Barca in need of slashing their wage bill and lacking competitiveness at the highest level, the Catalan club faces a major challenge to retain his services.