Lionel Messi will sign a new contract at Barcelona on reduced terms as long as the club show ambition in the transfer market.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner has told president Joan Laporta that he is willing to renew his contract at reduced terms.
The 33-year-old's continued relationship with Barcelona is contingent on the club competing for next year’s Champions League. Therefore, the Argentine expects the club to invest heavily in strengthening the squad.
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Ronald Koeman had, Fermín de la Calle of Eurosport Spain reports, identified Memphis Depay as a potential target but Laporta has informed Messi that the club are set to begin negotiating a deal for Erling Haaland. However, to be able to finance that deal, Laporta told Messi that the club would not be able to match his current wages of €40 million net a year.
Paris Saint Germain have already offered terms to Messi, but the player’s priority is to remain at Barca as long as they show the requisite ambition.
Laporta has ordered an audit to determine the club’s current financial situation, but there is an acceptance that, even with Messi’s pay cut factored in, the club will require some external funding to sign Haaland. The Barcelona president is currently in talks with an investment firm to acquire the required money.
The club are confident that they can get a deal done for Haaland, though; particularly given the warm relationship Laporta has with his agent Mino Raiola.
Messi submitted a request to leave the club last summer, and, after having seen that request denied, he looked certain to leave this close season.
However, after a sluggish start to the season under new boss Ronald Koeman, performances and results have picked up, with the club winning the Copa del Rey in April and they sit just two points off Atletico Madrid at the top of Liga.
Meanwhile, Josep Bartomeu, the source of much of Messi's frustration, resigned and has been replaced by Laporta, who won the recent presidential elections on a ticket of convincing Messi to stay at the club.
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