Speculations have been swirling around the future of FC Barcelona captain Lionel Messi ever since he told the club that he wanted to leave last summer. Now, for the first time in months, there are concrete steps that are being made to decide his fate. His father and de facto agent, Jorge Messi, is flying to Barcelona to finally sit down with the club to negotiate a contract renewal.

According to Football España, Jorge will be having an all-important meeting with newly-elected club president Joan Laporta on Monday. It may be remembered that no solid offer has been made by the club because they had been waiting for the elections to take place.

After the debacle of the previous summer, former club president Josep Maria Bartomeu was forced to step down along with the rest of his board. This was amid growing dissatisfaction among the players and club members. Dismal results from last season as well as a controversial "Barcagate" scandal that involves a web of corruption allegations as well as a smear campaign against players has led to Messi's botched attempt to leave the club.

Messi's decision led to massive unrest among the members, and Bartomeu was forced to resign months later. It took many months before his replacement was elected, with Laporta's main campaign battle cry focused on convincing Messi to stay.

It remains to be seen if Laporta can walk the talk, and if he can woo the Messi father and son to stay. It is no secret that Messi loves Barcelona, and if he is convinced that positive changes are being made, it is not impossible for him to choose to stay. In fact, such is his love for the club that he exercised his right to vote at the elections himself.

Manager Ronald Koeman is certain that the past months have convinced the Argentine that the future is looking good at Camp Nou. Koeman has made it clear from the moment he took over that he fully intends to keep Messi at the centre of his plans.

However, rumours about a possible move to French champions Paris Saint-Germain continue to intensify. Messi is now free to speak to other clubs ahead of the expiration of his contract in June, but there is no confirmation that any discussions have been made with PSG.

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