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Free Agent Lionel Messi’s New FC Barcelona Deal Stuck in La Liga’s Wage Rule

Lionel Messi became a free agent after his FC Barcelona contract expired on June 30.
Lionel Messi's new FC Barcelona contract

Lionel Messi, who joined FC Barcelona in September 2000 as a 13 year old, is the club’s all-time goal scorer.

FC Barcelona have been unable to offer Lionel Messi a new contract because of La Liga’s financial control measures. The development was confirmed to the media by club president Joan Laporta Thursday. The Argentine superstar became a free agent after his contract expired on June 30. 

Laporta added that Messi, who joined Barcelona in September 2000, wishes to continue playing for the Catalan giants. Just that the attempts to ink a new deal is stuck because it has to comply with the league’s stipulations. So, the all-time leading goal scorer of Barca has no contractual connections with the club at the moment.

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“It’s going well, he wants to stay and we’re making all the efforts to ensure he does. But we have to balance it with financial fair play,” Laporta  said on Thursday.

“There are many options and we’re contemplating which is the best for both parties. But we want him to stay and so does he, we want to give him the best team possible.”

La Liga’s financial control measures were introduced in 2013. It established a maximum amount of money each club can spend on its playing squad and coaching staff each season. The upper limit is conditioned by their income, and, needless to say, Barca have the highest revenue in world football, although the income has dropped by 125 million euros last year due to the pandemic.

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At the start of the 2019-20 season, FC Barcelona were allocated a maximum budget of 1.47 billion euros by La Liga which shrank to 733 million last season. It is expected to fall even further, in proportion with the revenue which has come down because the whole season was played behind closed doors, and the income that usually comes from transfers was less too due to a cold transfer market.  

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