FC Barcelona has decided to finally make a move towards the renewal of Lionel Messi's contract. The club is said to have placed a formal offer without waiting for the result of the financial audit that was ordered by new president Joan Laporta when he came into office in March.

The Argentine's contract is due to expire on June 30, and Barcelona knows that they have to move fast if they want to keep their captain. Messi already has one foot out the door after expressing his desire to leave last summer, and it is unclear if the recent changes have convinced him to stay. It took the club this long to draw up an offer because the previous administration had left the club's finances in shambles.

Messi's agent and father, Jorge Messi, was spotted in Barcelona earlier this year but no formal talks took place. Now that the season has ended, the club has decided to put forward an offer instead of waiting for the audit to be completed. However, according to Marca, Messi is not expected to respond soon.

The 33-year-old will want to wait until he has a better idea about the club's sporting project for the immediate future. He has made it clear that he wants to be in a club that will be able to compete for major trophies, and the financial aspect of the deal will be secondary.

Fans might be on the edge of their seats for another month, as they await Messi's decision before his contract expires. The 6-time Ballon d'Or winner has other things on his mind at the moment, as he has just reunited with the Argentina squad. Preparations are currently underway for their Copa America campaign this summer, and this may be Messi's final shot at a major trophy on a national level.

The result of the audit can't come soon enough for Laporta, who won't be able to pursue other targets until he knows the full extent of the club's financial crisis. The latest financial report has pegged the club's debt level at 1.173 billion euros, and it remains to be seen if the same is still true today.

Laporta has scheduled a press conference on Friday, and it will be interesting to see what he is already able to reveal about Messi and the club's future.

Lionel Messi
Resolving Lionel Messi's future will be a priority for Barcelona's new president AFP / Josep LAGO