Things are getting more tense at the Camp Nou as the days run down on Lionel Messi's contract. The Argentine has yet to sign a contract renewal, and it is believed that the botched attempt to sign Georginio Wijnaldum may have affected his decision.
The Dutch player was closely linked with the Catalan giants and his agents were even spotted at the Camp Nou on two separate occasions in the past few months. It was believed that negotiations were going well and the midfielder was close to signing a contract. However, Paris Saint-Germain swooped in at the last moment to snatch the player away by offering what is rumoured to be twice as much as what cash-strapped Barcelona had offered.
Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman was keen on signing his fellow Dutchman, who worked under him during his time as head coach of the Dutch national team. However, Koeman was not the only one who wanted the transfer to happen. According to Football España, Messi was also "excited" about the midfielder.
It may be remembered that Messi made it clear that he is looking for a competitive sporting package from Barcelona, and that the financial aspects of his new contract are secondary. Club president Joan Laporta has been working hard with Koeman, in an effort to show Messi that they are serious about building a squad that will be challenging for domestic and international titles next season.
Laporta had previously admitted that signing Sergio Aguero from Manchester City was part of his plan to convince Messi to stay, but the failure to lure Wijnaldum to the team may affect Messi's decision.
The former Liverpool midfielder enjoyed great success in the Premier League, and decided to look for a new challenge now that he has become a free agent. Barcelona has been proactive about snatching up players who are available to move for free this summer, but they were unable to go up against PSG's lucrative offer.