The end of the contract saga between FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi is near its end. According to the latest reports, the Argentina captain has finally agreed to the terms of a new contract with the Catalan giants. However, nothing has been signed yet and no official announcement has been made.
Details of the agreement have been revealed, and Marca confirms that previous reports were correct in stating that the Copa America winner has accepted a 50 percent pay cut. Now, the legalities have to be sorted out between the club's lawyers and Messi's camp before the final contract can be signed.
It has long been expected that Messi and club officials with have a discussion after the conclusion of the Copa America. After Saturday's final, Messi did not waste much time and went ahead to get his future sorted as soon as possible. The "agreement" was reportedly reached on Wednesday, and the club is preparing an official announcement that will be released soon. The new deal is reportedly five seasons long, the latter part possibly for an ambassador role
Messi became a free agent on July 1 after his previous contract expired on June 30. It has been a tense fortnight for the club's fans, with the possibility of the Argentine's departure looming over their heads.
Club president Joan Laporta however, has always maintained his confidence that the player wants to stay. Now, club members can breathe a little easier, but there will be no real relief until the dotted line is signed and the announcement has been made public.
The fact of the matter is, getting Messi to agree to a renewal is just the first step. The club still need to get their finances in order and free up enough space to accommodate Messi's salary. Even with 50% slashed off, Barcelona will still potentially spend way over what they are allowed to under La Liga Santander's salary cap.
Messi is reportedly happy to accept the salary cut, but as it stands, the club won't be able to register him and other new summer signings like Sergio Aguero and Memphis Depay. The club has been going fast and furious when it comes to incomings, but not fast enough in offloading players to slash the wage bill.