According to The Sun, Barcelona forward Lionel Messi is close to signing a new contract at Camp Nou. The Argentine's contract at Barcelona expires in the summer; however, it has been reported that he could sign a long-term contract soon.
Lionel Messi was close to leaving his boyhood club last summer after a series of on- and off-field events. He was priced out of a move by Barcelona, though, and had to stay for the current campaign.
With the election of new Barcelona president Joan Laporta earlier this year, The Times reported that Messi has now begun contract talks at the club, with general optimism among all parties involved.
The contract would also see Messi move to Major League Soccer to finish his playing career as he has always wanted. He'd then return to Barcelona to take up an ambassadorial role after he retires.
Lionel Messi is keen to achieve more success at Barcelona, like lifting the UEFA Champions League trophy for the first time since 2015.
The 33-year-old is the highest-paid footballer globally with a weekly package of about £584,000 plus other bonuses. Messi is, however, believed to be willing to take a pay cut to help Barcelona bring in big-name signings this year.
Luis Suarez and Pep Guardiola want Lionel Messi to remain at Barcelona
Former Barcelona forward and teammate Luis Suarez has urged Lionel Messi to remain at the Camp Nou. Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, who once managed Messi at Barcelona, has also expressed the same desire, despite heavy links with a reunion at the Etihad Stadium.
Barcelona have struggled at times this campaign but have bounced back impressively, winning the Copa del Rey with a comprehensive victory over Athletic Bilbao last month.
However, Ronald Koeman's side suffered a 2-1 shock defeat to Granada at the Camp Nou on Thursday, which dented their La Liga title aspirations.
Lionel Messi scored Barcelona's only goal against Granada to take his tally in 2021 to 24 goals. Koeman would therefore be hoping his star man can keep up his good form in the exciting title race.