Birthday boy Messi set to stay longer with Barcelona

Though disappointed with club’s bosses, the celebrated footballer is being ‘pressured’ to stay with the club that he joined when he was 13

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Messi is in the final week of his contract with Barcelona. File Photo

Barcelona — this was the club Lionel Messi joined when he was 13. However, the superstar footballer publicly expressed a desire to leave the club, having been disappointed over the way the club was being run as well as the team’s sporting inefficiencies on the field.

On the occasion of Messi’s 34th birthday (June 24), however, the news of an agreement between Messi and Barcelona has surfaced.

Also read: Messi’s dead-ball hat-trick puts Barcelona back on top

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Here’s what has happened as Messi is in the final week of his contract with Barcelona, with no confirmation over his immediate future:

* Sergio Aguero and Memphis Depay recently signed in, hinting at possible extension for Messi in the Spanish club, though there is no formal word yet

* Italian transfer expert Fabrizio Romano confirms that an agreement between Barcelona and Messi is all but reached, with some details of the contract remaining to be finalized;

Also read: Messi blasts Copa America corruption after red card

* Romano claims Messi will sign up, which would keep him at the club till 2023. “Lionel Messi will extend his contract with Barcelona until June 2023, all parties involved have no doubt — but there are still some clauses to be fixed in the contract ‘structure’. #Messi…that’s why there’s no official announcement yet. But it’s just a matter of time,” Romano tweeted.

* Le10 Sport reported the announcement of Messi’s contract extension could be made on his birthday (June 24);

* Barca president Joan Laporta is reportedly working overtime to get Messi to sign a new contract;

* If he does, then Messi would officially complete a U-turn from what happened over the last summer. The superstar footballer had announced leaving the club, as he was upset over the way the club was being run by the bosses

* Barcelona have shown promise of rediscovering their old self under Dutch boss Ronald Koeman. The club narrowly missed out on the La Liga title this year, but bagged the Copa del Rey trophy. So, the promise shown on the pitch, together with certain important signings, seems to be the reason behind Messi deciding to stay longer with Barcelona;

* Messi is currently on international duty with Argentina at the Copa America. He has scored 672 goals in 778 appearances for Barcelona so far.

(With inpus from Agencies)

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