What’s stopping Barcelona from renewing Lionel Messi?

What’s stopping Barcelona from renewing Lionel Messi?

Lionel Messi is officially a free agent for the first time in his amazing and lengthy career with Barcelona. The Argentine who signed for the club’s academy back in 2000, went on to become the club’s most important player in their entire history and probably the most talented player in footballing history as well. The things Messi can do with the ball will seem impossible for others and thus it is not surprising that the Catalans tied down Messi to the club with huge contracts and bonuses.

The last time the mercurial superstar renewed his contract with the Blaugrana was back in 2017. According to leaks from last year, the Catalan Captain made over 500 million euros from that contract, a number which made him the highest-earning sports personality of all time. The reason why Barca was comfortable paying that huge amount was because not only is the Argentine the best player of the modern generation, but he also brings in a lot of money via shirt sales and endorsements.

Messi was on the verge of leaving the club last season however, after a difficult and complicated battle with the former president of Barcelona, Josep Maria Bartomeu, the captain decided to stay on till the end of his contract. However, as the season went on Messi became more and more involved with the team and he went on to have a fantastic personal season, which made him want to stay on with the club.

Thus with Barcelona wanting Messi to extend his contract and the player himself wanting to stay with the club, why has the deal not been done yet? Clubs like Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain can initiate talks with the player due to his status as a free agent, and Barca should move fast in order to secure him. Here are three reasons why Barcelona has still not been able to secure Messi to the club,

#1 Barcelona Lack Funds

Last season it was revealed that the Catalans are in a bowl of hot water after their finances were leaked to the public. According to reports, Barcelona was 1.2 billion euros in debt, which was mostly caused due to the mismanagement of the club. The Catalans were always a club that preferred to play homegrown players over buying pre-established superstars however, after the sale of Neymar to PSG, all that changed.

The Blaugrana went on a buying frenzy, signing the likes of Ousmane Dembele, Antoine Griezmann, and Philippe Coutinho, all for more than 100 million euros. These were all big money flops and thus a lot of the budget was wasted. Apart from wasting resources on transfers, Barcelona also has the highest wage structure in all of Europe but we will get more into that in the next section. As of now, the Catalans do not have the funds to offer Messi the wages they did back in 2017.

#2 Huge Wage Cut For Lionel Messi

Barcelona reportedly spends the highest amount in player wages amongst all the clubs in Europe. This is a huge hit towards their annual budget and the recent fall in revenue has forced them to make a lot of wage cuts. La Liga has also imposed a new and lowered salary limit on Barcelona due to their financial circumstances. Back in 2019, the Catalans had a salary limit of 671 million euros, after their financial reports last year, the La Liga president dropped that limit to 348 million euros in March of this year.

Barcelona ended up breaking that limit this year however, the president of the league is adamant that he will not allow the Catalans to do so again. This is a huge blow for the Blaugrana as now they must offer Messi a contract with a severe wage cut and they are not sure that the Argentine will accept that. The wage cap means that Barca needs to sell a lot of players in order to pay Messi the wages that he wants.

#3 Not Enough Players Are Being Sold

In order to raise the wage cap that has been issued by the La Liga president, the Catalans will need to sell a lot of their players. Newcomers such as Sergio Aguero, Eric Garcia, Emerson, and Memphis Depay cannot be officially registered with the club before moving on a number of first-team players. The Catalans have managed to sell a few players as of now, Jean Claire Todibo to Nice for a fee of 8.5 million euros, Konrad de la Fuente to Marseille for a fee of 3 million euros and, according to reports, Junior Firpo is also set to join Leeds United for a fee of 15 million euros.

However, that is still not enough for Barcelona and they need to sell a lot of first-team players in order to reduce their total wages. According to reports, Laporta is keen to sell first-team players such as Coutinho, Griezmann, Samuel Umtiti, Miralem Pjanic, and Martin Braithwaite however, none of them have even been linked with a move as of now. Only Griezmann has been linked to Manchester City however, that move is not certain by any means.

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