Messi’s new Barca deal ‘not done yet’

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May 29, 2021
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    Lionel Messi celebrates with team matesLionel Messi was La Liga's top goalscorer in the 2020-21 season with 30 goals

    Barcelona president Joan Laporta says a new deal for Lionel Messi is "not done yet" but that "things are going well".

    The Argentine striker, 33, is out of contract in June.

    "We are going to give him a proposal that is within our means and we hope that it will be accepted by the player," Laporta said.

    Laporta also said Barcelona will not apologise for their role in the failed European Super League and will appeal against any punishment from Uefa.

    Messi sent a fax to Barca in August 2020 saying he wanted to leave the club.

    Barcelona insisted his 700m euro (£624m) release clause would have to be met – resulting in Messi staying at the club he has played for since 2000.

    Spanish football expert Guillem Balague has suggested that Paris St-Germain are "looking closely" at Messi's contract situation but Laporta says his executives are "working hard to give him a good proposal".

    "Things are going well with Messi but it's not done yet," added Laporta. "Our relationship is very good, Messi loves Barca – we want him to continue.

    "He deserves more and could get a better contract somewhere else but I'm convinced he appreciates the efforts we are making."

    Messi missed the final game of the season against Eibar after being granted an early holiday to rest before the Copa America.

    According to Pep Guardiola, Manchester City's Sergio Aguero is close to signing a deal with Barca and could play alongside fellow Argentine Messi.

    Barcelona finished third in La Liga for the first time since 2007-08, five points off Real Madrid in second, despite Messi being La Liga's top goalscorer for the season.

    Laporta would not confirm if manager Ronald Koeman would continue at the club, saying: "We are having a period of reflection. He deserves respect. We have a project that is interesting to a lot of people."

    'We aren't going to say sorry'

    Earlier this week, European football's governing body opened disciplinary proceedings against Barcelona, Juventus and Real Madrid for their role in the league, which later collapsed.

    The other nine clubs renounced the project but Barcelona, Juventus and Real Madrid have refused to do so.

    "I've told [Uefa president Aleksander] Ceferin that we aren't going to say sorry. And we don't plan on paying any sanction," said Laporta.

    "If we are sanctioned we'll go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport."

    Source

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