FC Barcelona has yet to offer a new contract to their captain Lionel Messi. However, things have now become even more complicated after the club announced its involvement in the controversial new European Super League. Messi's decision will be affected by the effects of the club's participation in the breakaway event which may lead to massive sanctions from football governing bodies.

There are pros and cons to Barcelona's decision to join the ESL as one of its founding members. It is no secret that the club has been in the middle of a financial crisis, and the ESL's business model promises to be very lucrative for all the participating clubs. If the project becomes successful, Barcelona will be able to find financial stability sooner than originally projected. That also means that they will be able to present Messi with a more tempting extension offer.

Apart from Messi himself, Barcelona will also be able to move more freely in the upcoming transfer windows which will help the club build a more promising future. These factors will surely help entice Messi to stay at Camp Nou.

However, on the other side of the coin, the consequences may also be too grave for the Argentine star. If UEFA's threat of banning players from playing for their national teams pushes through, it means that Messi will be deprived of what could be his final chance to win major trophies for Argentina in the FIFA World Cup and Copa America.

Likewise, there have been threats about the ESL clubs being banned from European competitions as well as their domestic leagues. ESL chief Florentino Perez has guaranteed that this won't happen, but until a final compromise has been reached between the ESL, UEFA and the various national football associations, nothing is certain.

Messi's contract expires in June, and Joan Laporta will need to draw up a contract he can't refuse before then. The 32-year-old's father and agent Jorge has been spotted in Barcelona over the weekend, but it is unclear if he met Laporta to discuss his son's contract.

It is easy to see why Barcelona won't want to pass up the 300 million euros they could earn from participating in the ESL. It remains to be seen if the consequences will be worth it.

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