Messi’s current deal at the Camp Nou running out this summer.
With Lionel Messi’s current deal at the Camp Nou running out this summer, he still hasn’t put pen to paper on a new Barcelona deal, and according to the ‘Daily Mail’ this is down to the latest wave of pressure on Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu to resign.
With his contract expiring in the summer, Messi would technically be able to speak to foreign teams in January over a free transfer at the end of the season. Although this is unlikely given his emotional attachment to the Catalan club, the Barcelona fans are anxious about the hold up in the Argentinian international signing his new deal.
According to the ‘Daily Mail’, Messi’s hesitancy is down to the uncertainty surrounding Bartomeu’s role at the club.
The club president has faced a huge amount of criticism from Barcelona fans in recent months, which was compounded by the club’s decision to play the La Liga clash against Las Palmas last weekend behind closed doors. Fans group Manifest Blaugrana called for Bartomeu’s resignation on Tuesday, saying he had ‘betrayed the essence’ of the club.
Bartomeu has previously claimed that Messi’s new deal, which would run until 2021, has already been signed by the player’s father Jorge and his brother Rodrigo, who is also the head of the Barcelona star’s foundation.
However, the Barcelona faithful want to see the man himself sign on the dotted line of his new deal, but the aforementioned source reported that despite Bartomeu’s confidence that it will happen soon, Messi is reluctant about committing his future to the club and vindicating the current president, who is under pressure from all sides.
Anti-Bartomeu graffiti can be seen on various buildings near the Camp Nou stadium and although a vote of no-confidence against the president failed to gain enough signatures to force an election, it was still a major statement against the board, with 12,500 people signing the petition.
Barcelona legend Xavi said of Laporta last month: “With him in charge the players were happier.”
In June, Laporta himself told the ‘Daily Mail’ in an interview that he would “definitely stand” if the current board were to resign.
Whatever the future holds for the Barcelona board, the fans will just be hoping that their talisman commits his future to the club sooner rather than later, with just three months until the January window.