Alert! It is happening, and the announcement came directly from the offices of FC Barcelona. The contract was on the table and arguably the greatest player of all time was close to ending his career where it began on the world stage. But, ‘obstacles’ came out of nowhere and Leo Messi is on the exit door of the Blaugrana. Yes, the GOAT is now a free agent for the first time in his illustrious career.
According to sources close to the Catalan club, it is impossible to make the contract work due to the La Liga regulations. The club cited “financial and structural obstacles” as the issue preventing Messi from signing with Barcelona. The previous deal Lionel had signed with Barca expired in June. Messi spent his entire career wearing the same club colors, and this is the biggest news of the day in the sports world.
FC Barcelona released an official announcement explain what transpired: “Despite FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi having reached an agreement and the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today, this cannot happen because of financial and structural obstacles (Spanish Liga regulations).”
Fans of the club are left in dismay whit what they’ve just heard. Both parties already agreed on the deal, and this comes as a massive surprise even for those involved. The rest of FC Barcelona’s statement goes as follows: “As a result of this situation, Messi shall not be staying on at FC Barcelona. Both parties deeply regret that the wishes of the player and the club will ultimately not be fulfilled. FC Barcelona wholeheartedly expresses its gratitude to the player for his contribution to the aggrandisement of the club and wishes him all the very best for the future in his personal and professional life.”
La Liga has strict salary rules that apply to all clubs. This is why Barca and Messi agreed on a five-year deal that would reduce his salary, but would tie him long-term. The first idea was only a two-year deal, which was deemed impossible from the start. It was expected that a new deal will work, and both player and the club were hoping for the continuation of the cooperation. But, as a thing now stand, it is impossible for Lionel to remain a Barca player.
The club is in debt that’s high as €1,173m, and they have no way of reducing it. Messi even accepted a pay cut that took his wages from $45 million per year to only $20 million. The club recently brought in Memphis Depay and Sergio Aguero, which were moves to appease Leo to stay and give him more chance at another Champions League run. Furthermore, Kun Aguero is his good friend and Messi is godfather to his son Benjamin, and the relationship between the two was deemed as a key for Messi staying.
Now that finances are standing in the way of Messi staying at Barcelona the big question sign orbits above his future. There aren’t too many teams that could pay his wages and attract him with their ambitions. Staying in Spain is not an option, so we won’t even talk about transferring to Real Madrid. There’s only a handful of teams that could go all-in on Messi and those that are already on the move are PSG where his good friend Neymar plays, and Manchester City where his ex-manager Pep Guardiola coaches. Or, maybe he could go to Turin and join up with his nemesis Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus? What do you think will happen?