Everybody has known for a long time that Lionel Messi’s contract at Barcelona was coming to an end — and now it has only nine days to run before it expires.
Since Messi tried to force an exit from Barcelona last summer, at which point Manchester City seemed his most likely destination, all the angles and possibilities were debated and deliberated inside and outside the Nou Camp.
But a disappointing 2020-21 season finished without any resolution to the issue. Barcelona finished third behind Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid and many questions remain over Messi’s future intentions…
He is currently in Brazil with his national team and has yet to give any firm indication of whether or when he will sign a new Barca contract.
His current deal ends on June 30, so if there is no change within 10 days, the 33-year-old’s two-decade-long connection with the Catalan club will officially end.
In recent months Laporta has consistently said that he is optimistic Messi will sign a new deal. Most recently was in yesterday’s club AGM when he told socios, “I hope Messi signs his contract and is here for many more years. We are working on that. I would like to be able to give you the good news.”
On June 15, Barcelona released their new kit for the 2021-22 campaign and Messi was noticeably absent from the photos of squad members modelling the kit, although the online club shop was still advertising No 10 jerseys with Messi on the back.
No extension has yet been announced but it remains possible that Messi’s contract renewal could be announced before his current deal ends on June 30.