Messi will not train with Barcelona until he has signed his contract renewal

The forward is due back on Aug. 2 but will not return until everything is finalised

| sport

Ivan San Antonio

Lionel Messi has agreed a five-year deal to stay at Barcelona. But it's not closed yet. The club are working on it with the club's lawyers while Messi finished the final days of his holidays after winning the Copa America.

Both parties are working against the clock now because they want the contract signed as soon as possible. Until that happens, the player will not join up with Ronald Koeman's squad for preseason.

The Barça players that took part in the Copa America final were given time off until Aug. 2. That was Messi, Sergio Aguero and Emerson. The latter two are now back in Barcelona, with Messi the only one lacking.

Despite speculation he could return to training without signing his contract, Barça have ruled out that possibility. Legally that option is allowed, as long as the player is covered by insurance, but it won't happen.

Therefore, the countdown has begun because if he doesn't renew before Monday, he will not be able to train with the rest of the team, which would be a setback ahead of the start of LaLiga on Aug. 15 vs. Real Sociedad.

The longer it takes to finalise the deal, the less time he will have to prepare for the new season. Despite all that, it's not something that worried the player, despite being on holiday, because he's been working hard to stay in shape.

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