Messi Set to Accept Huge Pay Cut in New Barcelona Deal: Report
Lionel Messi first spoke about leaving Barca in August after the 8-2 Champions League defeat against Bayern Munich.
Argentine superstar Lionel Messi is all set to stay in Barcelona and is expected to sign a fresh deal soon to extend his 20-year long association with the club.
Messi is expected to sign a 5-year deal and will also accept a significant reduction in wages to help prolong his tenure at Nou Camp, according to ESPN.
Spanish media reports that Messi has agreed to 50 percent reduction in his wages.
The 34-year-old's previous contract was worth over 500 million euros and that expired at the stroke of midnight on 1 July.
While Barcelona had hoped to get the extension done and dusted before the contract ran out, the club’s poor financial health made it impossible.
La Liga president Javier Tebas had warned Barca they would not be allowed to register Messi's new deal if they were unable to reduce spending to comply with the league's financial fair play rules. Barca's spending limit has been reduced from over 600 million euros to 347 million euros since the coronavirus pandemic, with further reductions expected to be imposed for the upcoming season, the report added.
Messi, who is currently on holiday with his family, only recently won his first senior international major trophy as Argentina won the Copa America. They beat Brazil in the final at the Maracana to end a 28-year drought.
While Messi was at loggerheads with the previous board members, the new President Joan Laporta’s arrival helped change his mind. Messi first spoke about leaving the club in August last year after the 8-2 Champions League defeat against Bayern Munich.
Barcelona have also already made a series of signings this summer, bringing in Messi’s friend Sergio Aguero, Netherlands’ Memphis Depay and Spain’s Eric Garcia, as well as recalling Emerson Royal.
Messi had first joined Barca's academy in 2000 and up until now has played 778 games scoring scored 672 goals, a club record. He has helped Barca win, among other trophies, 10 La Liga titles and the Champions League on 4 occasions.
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