The moment of truth has arrived. The final few hours of Lionel Messi's contract has arrived, and FC Barcelona fans are starting to panic due to the lack of confirmation about their captain's contract extension. The Argentine superstar will become a free agent by midnight, but the Camp Nou has remained quiet and calm in the last couple of days.

It has long been reported that Messi has been offered a new two-year deal, but the last interview with club president Joan Laporta indicated that a final agreement has not been reached with the player despite both sides being eager to resolve the situation.

If he has already signed a new deal, it is unclear why Barcelona will want to wait until the very last minute to make the announcement. Last week, Laporta said that he would have wanted to confirm the contract extension by Messi's birthday on June 24, which has now come and gone with absolutely no news about the contract coming out from either camp.

Fans are now staring straight at the possibility of accepting the end of Messi's 21-year spell at the Camp Nou. During this time, the Argentine became the club's all-time top scorer. He has also raked in an impressive haul of trophies with the club as well as individual accolades including six Ballon d'Or trophies.

The club has remained mum on the contract situation, and if Messi ends up leaving, Laporta will have a lot to answer for. He won the club presidency back in March almost entirely on the promise that he will be able to convince Messi to stay.

Messi's possible departure will also shake things up on the financial front, with sponsorship deals and merchandise sales expected to be affected. However, the Argentine is also responsible for a large chunk of the club's wage bill, which will become significantly lighter should he seek a new challenge next season.

Messi made it clear last summer that he wanted to leave the Camp Nou, but numerous changes over the past season had many convinced that the captain may have changed his mind. However, the massive delay in the contract extension has cast doubt on that assumption.

The 34-year-old is currently in Brazil representing Argentina at the Copa America, but his affairs in Catalunya must surely be weighing heavily on his mind as well. Less than 24 hours remain before the current contract expires, and almost the entire football community is waiting with bated breath for any update.

Joan Laporta and Lionel Messi
Messi is 'the best in history', according to Laporta. Getty Images