- Lionel Messi’s contract with Spanish club Barcelona expired in June, meaning the Argentine remains a free agent
- Barcelona president Joan Laporta has maintained that the club will seal a contract extension for the six-time Ballon d’Or winner
- With Messi yet to pen a deal, Cristiano Ronaldo might not have a chance to face his rival when Barcelona host Juventus on August 8
Lionel Messi remains a free agent and may not be part of the Barcelona squad that will take on Juventus on August 8 during an exhibition encounter, Mirror reports.
The Argentine superstar’s contract with the Catalan giants ended in June and so far there seems to be problems facing his possible contract renewal.
The 34-year-old is presently in Miami for a lavish vacation after a long season which climaxed with him inspiring La Alibceleste to Copa America glory in Brazil.
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Messi won his first ever international title with the Argentina senior team after they defeated Brazil 1-0 in the final of the Copa America.
Barcelona now race against time as they continue to negotiate a new deal for the six-time Ballon d’Or winner before the game against the Old Lady.
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But Spanish outlet Sport are claiming that Messi is expected back in Spain on August 2 to possibly seal a new deal.
The stadium will host spectators for the first time since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, although the capacity will be limited to 20%.
The Spanish outlet recently reported that president Joan Laporta had set a 10-day timeline for a new deal to be announced via The12thMan.
How would Maradona have reacted to Copa America glory for Argentina?
Meanwhile, Cesar Menotti has suggested that the late Diego Maradona would have held Lionel Messi in his arms crying if he was alive to witness Argentina's Copa America win.
Argentina won their first Copa title in the last 28 years with the help of 34-year-old Messi who captained his side to victory against Brazil.
And Menotti who was coach when Argentina won the 1978 World Cup believes that it would have been an emotional moment for Maradona seeing his former player bring smiles again to the Argentines.
Lionel Messi could be staying at Barcelona due to sacrifice
Briefly News earlier reported that Barcelona can now heave a sigh of relief after Lionel Messi appears to have agreed to take a pay cut before re-joining them on a five-year deal this summer.
The Copa America champion has been without a club since his contract with the Catalans expired in June with some top European outfits already hoping they can sign him for free.
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However, the Camp Nou outfit is not leaving anything to chance just to hold on to their legend who has won them a number of silverware since he broke into the first team in 2005.
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Source: Briefly News