Barcelona’s captain Lionel Messi is utmostly ready to continue his campaign with the team as he renews his contract while taking up to a 50 percent pay cut.
Messi has spent his whole career at Barcelona, having made his first appearance as a teenager in 2004, but was freed at the beginning of July after his deal ended.
The Argentine who recently won the Copa America which was his first major international trophy will not be taking on a new project away from Camp Nou anytime soon, as the Blaugrana are ready to announce that the six-time Ballon d’Or winner has drafted a long-term contract with the club.
In August of last year, Messi triggered a heated transfer controversy when he officially told the club of his intentions to execute a clause in his contract that would have permitted him to go for free.
The move was prevented by La Liga president Javier Tebas and Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu, who maintained that the clause was only effective until June 10 and that any bidder would have to pay his €700 million buyout clause in full.
What made Messi to extend his contract?
Over the period of his previous five-year deal at Camp Nou, Messi pocketed a whopping €550 million (£468 million/$650 million), which amounts to about €75 million (£64 million/$89 million) annually.
After violating La Liga’s wage cap at the end of the 2020-21 season, Barca is now unable to offer the 34-year-old similar hefty contract terms.
Junior Firpo, Jean-Clair Todibo, Carles Alena, and Juan Miranda have all been sold to boost funds after league president Javier Tebas declared that the Blaugrana could not legally sign Messi unless they significantly cut their payroll expenses.
Interested clubs prior to Messi’s contract extension
After his previous deal expired, Messi had become a free agent, and it has been speculated that Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City, and Inter Milan have all exhibited plans to sign the Argentina international.
A reunion to boyhood club Newell’s Old Boys has also been considered, as has a potential move to the MLS with David Beckham’s Inter Miami.
Messi apparently received numerous formal offers, including one from PSG, but he eventually decided to remain a one-club man and play for Barcelona until 2026, when he will be 39 years old.