How Barcelona have set wheels in motion for Lionel Messi's new contract

Albert Masnou

Lionel Messi's contract renewal is one of the big jobs Barcelona has on the table. He's signed up until 30 June 2018 and the club are looking to get a deal done sooner, rather than later. In January 2018, little over a year from now, he would be free to negotiate with any other club if he is not signed up to a new deal. 

Barcelona are putting hands to work to create the right climate for him to sign another deal that should see him commit to the club for the rest of his career. At 29 years old, Messi's current deal expires at age 31. Barcelona want him to follow the same process as Andres Iniesta. A one club man. The best player in the history of the club tied to its image. A complete success. 

However, Messi's personality and values are different to those of Iniesta. For Messi what matters are titles and a personal surrounding where he feels comfortable. Three key players are already signed up - Neymar 2021, Mascherano 2019 and Busquets 2021. Others are in the process - Suarez, Rakitic. Six players who, for example, started in the 2015 Champions League final in Berlin. 

Barcelona have already started to make Messi feel as comfortable as possible. After the Copa America he was given a month's holiday. He was in the Bahamas for a week with the family, then to Ibiza and then eventually back to Barcelona. He cut it short himself by coming in to training after that. The club believe Messi is happy in Barcelona, the city where he can live calmly, in the dressing room where his status is respected and he has feeling. 

Bartomeu announced in Manchester that 'we will talk with Messi in two months about his renewal'. The player's main complaint and threat is the situation with the tax office, who have frustrated him and given him a headache. Leo thinks he has been made a scapegoat and is paying the consequences of being an icon of Barcelona and Catalunya. It is something that Barcelona are unable to fight.

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