Barcelona have reportedly not yet started formal contract talks with Lionel Messi as the wait goes on for the two parties to reach a new long-term agreement.
According to Marca, the plan is for a renewal to be signed, sealed and delivered by March next year, after Messi had turned down a contract offer this past summer which alerted Pep Guardiola and Manchester City.
Although Barca are unsurprisingly keen on tying the five-time Ballon d’Or winner down to a new deal by offering terms that would make him the highest-paid player in the world, there doesn’t seem to be as much progress in talks as they would like.
The report adds that no official meeting has taken place as of yet which is a concern in itself, and that comes despite the fact that Messi’s father was in Spain recently and so it would have been an opportune time to sit down face-to-face and discuss how to move forward with negotiations.
Instead, talks have been limited to phone conversations according to Marca, and it really is a surprise to see Barca either take their time as they are supremely confident Messi will sign an extension of that they are simply going to talk contract terms when they’re ready in order to take a leading role in the scenario.
Either way, it isn’t doing much to calm the nerves of the club’s supporters who will continue to anxiously wait for news, while it’s unlikely that anything will happen between now and the New Year.
The longer the situation the drags on, the more time it also gives Guardiola and City to make an audacious move to prise Messi away from the Camp Nou.
While that is still highly unlikely, it is arguably becoming more of an option the longer the wait for a new contract goes on with the Argentine international’s current deal expiring in 2018.