Moscow: Argentine star Lionel Messi is set to sign a new contract with Barcelona to stay for another five years at his boyhood club, La Vanguardia newspaper reported on Wednesday as speculation over his future looms large over the footballing world.
The newspaper has learned that the official announcement is expected later this week and the sides are currently finalizing the contract.
The club hopes to be able to obtain approval for the contract’s registration without violating Financial Fair Play rules that bar egregious spending.
The previous contract of the six-time Ballon d’Or winner expired on June 30. Messi reportedly agreed to a 50 per cent salary reduction.
After the embarrassing exit from the UEFA Champions League last August in an 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich last year, the Barcelona striker decided to exit his lifelong club, but his transfer request was denied based on contractual terms. Messi later chose to stay in order to avoid a court case against the club.
Another lackluster season saw the Barcelona team miss out on the Champion League title and the domestic La Liga trophy, securing only the Spanish national cup, Copa del Rey.