Lionel Messi’s new contract at Barcelona is being delayed due to the club’s financial situation, club president Joan Laporta has revealed.
The Barcelona captain is widely expected to stay at the Nou Camp just 12 months after he handed in a transfer request, with reports from Camp Nou indicating Messi is ready to sign a new two-year contract.
But Barcelona president Laporta has now revealed that the club must respect UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules by selling players before they can give him a new deal.
The Barca president also revealed that the 33-year-old football legend is helping the club out financially by taking a pay cut as reports entail the club has a debt close to £1billion meaning major transfers are unlikely to take place this summer.
Laporta told the Barcelona official website:
‘In economic terms, he has made it very easy, but Financial Fair Play is another battleground. We have to follow the rules, we will follow them.
‘There will be more sales and loans. Without paying a transfer fee. We will do a lot of loans, because we have a very high sports payroll compared to other clubs.’
Laporta maintains that Messi will remain at Barcelona no matter what their other transfer activity is, and that new signing Aguero is playing his role in keeping the Argentina superstar happy at the club.
The Barcelona president added: ‘Leo Messi’s boots will continue on the Camp Nou pitch. He wants to stay. I do not contemplate a no.
‘It isn’t easy. We’ll do what we can. There is no need to seduce him, he is determined if there are a series of circumstances to stay.
‘He is OK but he hasn’t signed yet. Kun Aguero tells him every day: “Sign that, we will play together.”‘