Barcelona FC appears to be a step ahead of Qatar’s PSG to sign up Messi for a new two-year deal.
While Lionel Messi is still negotiating with major international clubs, including Qatar’s Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona is now pushing for the football star to sign a new contract before his current deal expires on July 1.
Manchester City and Qatari-owned PSG are among Barcelona’s main competitors as previous reports confirme ongoing talks and negotiations to potentially sign the iconic striker ahead of the upcoming season.
However, the Spanish club has “raised urgency” in recent hours to accelerate negotiations and sign a deal before the end of his current contract this month.
Messi is reportedly holding back from committing to any club to await Barcelona’s finalised offer.
Earlier, the 34-year-old player confirmed his intentions to leave Camp Nou after his friend and former teammate Luis Suarez was sold to Atletico Madrid.
However, Sky Sports reported on Friday that negotiations over a two-year contract with Barcelona are in the advanced stages.
New president Joan Laporta is currently seeking to finalise a new deal with Messi’s father and representative, Jorge Messi.
Last week, circulating rumours suggested Messi would be renewing his contract with his current club on June 24 to coincide with his 34th birthday.
However, nothing was confirmed at the time and negotiations with Messi’s representatives have been ongoing since last April with a reported acceleration in recent hours.
Given the club’s current financial struggles, Barcelona FC would have to cut his wage bill by around £172 million to keep the Argentine international.
BBC Sport said there is no decision yet on when or how any potential agreement will be announced, with experts expecting the footballer to stay in his club.
“Barcelona think Messi would like to go to Major League Soccer in the USA after the Qatar World Cup in 2022, although they would love to see him return to the club after that in any role or capacity of his choosing,” it reported.