Barcelona are preparing to offer Lionel Messi a three-year contract - Reports

FC Barcelona v Getafe CF - La Liga Santander
FC Barcelona v Getafe CF - La Liga Santander
Varun Totadri

According to ESPN, Barcelona president Joan Laporta is preparing to offer Lionel Messi a three-year contract extension at Camp Nou. Messi's current contract with Barcelona is set to expire at the end of the season.

Barcelona cannot afford Messi's €75 million per year annual salary, and will therefore look to offer him a longer contract with reduced wages to convince him to sign a new deal.

Lionel Messi was desperate to leave Barcelona last summer after a dismal end to the 2019-20 season. The 33-year-old had a number of public spats with the club's hierarchy and was left infuriated after the club decided to sell Luis Suarez to Atletico Madrid.

Lionel Messi was heavily linked with a move to Manchester City, but was unable to find a way out of his €700 million release clause and ultimately chose to stay at Barcelona for another season.

The Cules endured a poor start to their 2020-21 campaign. The club were in 14th place in La Liga standings in November and had finished second in their Champions League group behind Juventus.

Ronald Koeman's side have managed to turn things around since then. Barcelona were knocked out of the Champions League in round 16 of the stage by PSG, but are currently in third place in the La Liga table, just five points behind leaders Atletico Madrid with a game in hand over Diego Simeone's side.

Barcelona won the Copa Del Rey last weekend thanks to an emphatic 4-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao in the final. Barcelona's resurgence under Ronald Koeman and Joan Laporta's close relationship with Lionel Messi has led the club's hierarchy to believe that the Argentine star will sign a new contract.

Barcelona will be desperate to keep Lionel Messi at the club as they continue to improve under Ronald Koeman

Real Madrid v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander
Real Madrid v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander

Barcelona are currently going through a transition under Ronald Koeman. The Dutchman took over a club that was in turmoil and has managed to turn things around at Camp Nou this season.

Barcelona are still a couple of signings away from mounting a serious challenge for the La Liga and Champions League titles next season. That being said, the club's most important signing this summer could be the contract extension of Lionel Messi.

Despite being desperate to leave the club last summer, the six-time Ballon d'Or winner has scored 32 goals in 41 appearances in all competitions for the Catalans this season. He remains their best player and has now formed a formidable partnership with Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele in attack.

Edited by Diptanil Roy

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