Barcelona want to start negotiations with Messi over new contract

Bartomeu plans to kick things off next week with Leo's deal up in 2021

El capitán del FC Barcelona marcó un gran gol en el entrenamiento de este sábado | FCB

The first contact over Lionel Messi's contract renewal will take place next week. According to COPE -- and confirmed by SPORT -- Barça president Josep Maria Bartomeu plans to begin talks over an extension, with the current terms expiring in 2021, in the coming days. 

Albert Masnou

Messi turns 33 on June 24 but is still full of motivation and excitement to lead Barça to more titles and win more individual honours himself. He won his sixth Ballon d'Or last year, a unique achievement in football. However, the passing of years means his future is being dealt with in the short-term, not the long-term. 

With Messi moving into the final 12 months of his deal -- and after not taking up an option to leave for free this summer -- Barça want to get to work. In the current situation, Messi would be free to talk to any club from January, given he will be in the final six months of his contract. 

On the pitch, Messi is in great shape to take on Mallorca next weekend when LaLiga returns after a three-month pause due to the coronavirus pandemic. His absence from training on Wednesday generated alarm in the media, but he has no problems and will start when the action is back. 

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