FC Barcelona fans are stunned by the fact that the June 30 expiration date of Lionel Messi's current contract with the club has passed. The Argentine is officially a free agent, meaning at the moment, he is no longer a Barcelona player after 7,504 days with the club. However, all is not lost. Unless he announces a deal with another club, the Blaugrana can still re-sign him if he agrees to the new deal they have offered.

As of midnight on June 30, Messi has cut ties with FC Barcelona on a contractual basis. Club authorities and most especially President Joan Laporta had been working endlessly to prevent this from happening, but it appears as though the club were not able to reach an agreement with the Messi camp before the deadline.

To be clear, this does not necessarily mean that Messi will be leaving Barcelona. According to Marca and other media outlets, the club is still convinced that an agreement will be reached soon and Messi will eventually put pen to paper. However, every minute that Messi is not officially a Barcelona player is giving the club and its fans more anxiety.

It is clear that the club and Messi's relationship remains very good, but the current financial situation at the Camp Nou is preventing them from being able to be flexible with their new contract offer. It is believed that Laporta is offering a two-year deal, but it also involves a massive pay cut.

The president admitted last week that while contract talks are ongoing, an agreement has not been reached despite his best efforts. He is hoping that fans can remain calm about the situation, but the club's social media accounts are being flooded by demands from members who voted for Laporta last March under the premise that he can convince Messi to stay.

Lionel Messi’s contract extension with Barcelona is finally coming. ??

Barça board and Messi’s camp feel now ‘confident’ to officially announce the agreement until June 2023 next week.

Both parties involved are working to fix ‘final details’ on contract clauses. ⏳ pic.twitter.com/dZ0zIsGeB3

— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 27, 2021

Meanwhile, Italian transfer expert Fabrizio Romano is convinced that the deal will be announced soon. The new deal is expected to last until June 2023, and both sides are reportedly committe dto working towards an agreement.

However, fans and even other clubs are already speculating about the six-time Ballon d'Or winner's next destination should the deal fall through. Sponsors are unhappy about the delay, with many waiting for the contract to be signed before making a decision on their future partnerships with the club as well.

Barcelona wants to make an announcement as soon as possible, in order for other deals to also take shape. The delay is a clear indication that there were more than just a few humps in the contract negotiations. It's a strange time at the Camp Nou at the moment, and the rest of the football world continues to wonder if there will soon be a shocking development.

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi is no longer a Barcelona player as of last night LLUIS GENE/AFP