Barcelona's biggest transfer concern this summer was Lionel Messi, whose current deal expires on June 30. Newly appointed president Joan Laporta's first aim was to tie down the Argentine superstar to a new deal, and he has reportedly succeeded in his mission.
Messi is currently with Argentina at the Copa America tournament and has not spoken too much about his plans. Last summer, he tried to push for a move away from the Camp Nou but according to French publication Le10 Sport, he has decided to commit to Barcelona and sign a new deal.
Messi's new deal, which is until the summer of 2023, could be announced on Thursday. The Argentine has agreed to take a pay cut to remain in Barcelona and will be paid his wages over five years, owing to the financial struggles of the Catalan club after being hit by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
The Argentina international's decision to remain in Barcelona will come as a major boost to the club. Not only are they retaining the club's biggest star, but according to Laporta, a number of other transactions were also being held up by the uncertainty surrounding Messi's future.
"The extension would be a pole of attraction for certain transactions that we are trying to conclude," Laporta said, as quoted on Le10 Sport. "What we want is for him to sign, for two years, hopefully, and for us to win the Champions League next year."
Meanwhile, Messi's former Barcelona teammate Samuel Eto'o is certain the six-time Ballon d'Or winner will not leave the Catalan outfit this summer. The Cameroonian star also predicted that Messi will form a lethal partnership with Argentina teammate Sergio Aguero at the Camp Nou.
Aguero joined Barcelona on a free transfer from Manchester City this summer, and Eto'o expects the duo to be prolific for the La Liga giants going forward. The four-time African player of the year is hoping the players can remain healthy, as they look to bring their form from the national team to the Spanish league.
"We're going to see 60 goals every season," Eto'o said, as quoted on Marca. "I only hope that God protects them from any more injuries."