Previous reports on Lio’s contract situation suggested that a new deal would only see him stay at Barca for three years, while serving the club as an ambassador in North America, before returning to Camp Nou in an executive role. But now Barcelona are thought to have finally reached an agreement in principle with Camp Nou legend Messi over a new long-term contract. The contract includes a huge 50% pay cut on his previous deal as the club’s widely known financial problems. After his old contract expired, Messi has officially been a free agent since 1 July. Despite formally asking to leave the club last summer, it has been thought for several months that he would be signing a new deal. However, Barca’s finances have made it an enormous challenge. The Catalans have been stung by La Liga’s salary restrictions following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on their usual incomes. The club must raise significant funds before new signings can be officially registered. The same goes for Messi’s contract, although at least an agreement now appears to be in place. Barcelona’s financial situation means cutting wages is crucial. Local publication SPORT writes that Messi understands Barca’s position and has agreed to be paid only half of his previous salary. It is said that he also accepts he should set an example, although money was never believed to be a real issue for him. SPORT adds that while the agreement is in place, writing up the contract in detail is expected to take some time because of its complex nature. Therefore, an official announcement from the club or pictures of Messi signing it are not actually likely until the end of the month.
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