Lionel Messi’s contract with Barcelona ended and he is now a free agent

Messi and the Barcelona jacket, an indivisible image … Until today. He is the institution’s top scorer, with 672 conquests and the player with the most official matches played, with 778 (REUTERS / Albert Gea)

The contract that binds Lionel Messi with the Barcelona it became extinct. As in Spain it is already July 1, the Argentine striker is officially a free agent, that is, he is not linked to any team. Thus, for example, when Argentina meets Ecuador on Saturday for the quarterfinals of the Cup America, the 34-year-old forward will jump onto the pitch as free agent. That does not imply that he will not continue to be linked to the culé team: conversations in pursuit of renewal are held “on good terms”, according to a source from The League aware of the minute by minute of the negotiation. However, there are still details to be worked out.

The specific fact of the end of the agreement does not put an end to the negotiations, but it’s a thunderous symbol that the clock is ticking … for both parties, but above all, for one: the institution.

After the crisis unleashed by the management of Josep Mary Bartomeu (which resulted in sports decline) and case burofax, the assumption of Joan Laporta, with whom Messi and his family have a good relationship, he opened the door to possible continuity. Negotiations take weeks and Barcelona they have let run in the like means that they are optimistic, but not yet concluded.

Barça offers to renew two years of contract, until June 2023, and then give him the possibility of, if he so wishes, move to the United States to live the Major League Soccer experience. “There is no stress because there is a lot of communication, we understand the position of the other party and we know what we all want, so calm down. But if you ask me what I would like, I would say that the sooner (sign) the better. It would be a pole of attraction for some operations that we have quite ready, ”Laporta said 10 days ago.

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Of course, in a difficult economy that it inherited from the previous administration, the leadership is adjusting the numbers, so that Messi’s contract can enter into the structure, but what separates the parties is not the economic, but the sports, they told Infobae from the negotiating table closest to the club.

The cover of the Marca newspaper, which illustrates the unique situation
The cover of the Marca newspaper, which illustrates the unique situation

Indeed, The Argentine forward wants to stay to compete at the highest level, win the League again and fight in the Champions League, something that cost him in recent seasons, with teams that were not up to par or lacked balance. For the moment, the Blaugranas ratified Ronald Koeman as a coach (beyond some noises with the leadership in the middle), and they incorporated several interesting names such as Sergio Aguero (his friend and partner in the National Team, a key factor in tempting him and an “undercover agent” in the operation to convince him), Memphis Depay, Eric Garcia and Emerson Royal. But, to raise the guard against Manchester City, PSG or Chelsea, perhaps it is missing. And the authorities will have to squeeze the imagination in the market to be able to get into the ring.

More after the economic warning that the La Liga authorities gave him about the club’s accounts. That is the main crossroads of Laporta: How to satisfy Messi’s sporting voracity, his communion with the club, and the economic temptation of other figures? That is the maximum obstacle that today bogs down the dialogue.

In the middle, there are bidders waiting crouching, like PSG, who through their managers knew how to make public their interest in having Messi. Meanwhile, the captain today has the chip on the Albiceleste team, seeking to win his first title at the senior level and break the drought of the Argentine team, which has been without Olympic rounds for 28 years (since the 1993 Copa América). And, beyond the fact that his future keeps him close to Barcelona, ​​there will be an extremely peculiar situation: the six-time Ballon d’Or winner, one of the two stars who dominated the football scene in the 21st century, will go on to play. some free agent games.

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