Barcelona increasingly confident of new Messi deal

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Barcelona’s confidence that Lionel Messi will sign a new contract and stay put has increased significantly following initial ‘positive talks’, and they are currently preparing to offer the Argentinian superstar a two-year deal, according to Fabrizio Romano.

The resolving of the future of the six-time Ballon d’Or winner is currently among the most anticipated moments in world football. As you probably know, Messi was completely disillusioned with the way Josep Maria Bartomeu led the club during his days of presidency. He demanded to be allowed to leave for free last summer, a year before his contract expired, citing a clause which had enabled him to do so every year.

However, it transpired that the clause had had a deadline which had expired by the time Messi expressed his demand. The club pointed to the standard release clause in the contract, making it very clear that any club interested in signing Messi in 2020 would have to pay the full amount of €700 million. Naturally, no club agreed to that and Messi stayed, but it seemed extremely likely he would be leaving this year, when the deal itself expired.

In the meantime, Bartomeu resigned his post and has been replaced by Joan Laporta, who has been doing his best to convince Messi his rightful place is still at the Camp Nou.

Romano says that Messi approves of the signings the club have made so far – Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia from Manchester City, with deals for Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum and forward Memphis Depay close to completion too.

Barcelona have also confirmed the return of Emerson Royal, having triggered the buyback option set when they sold the 22-year-old right-back to Real Betis in February 2019.