Barcelona legend Lionel Messi has reportedly turned down the club’s opening offer of a contract renewal worth between €30m-35m a year.
The Argentine’s current deal expires next summer, and while there have been ongoing delays in getting a new agreement sorted, this is the first time that a deal has been pushed away.
According to AS, talks between the Catalan giants and his father, Jorge, have been continuing for months and ultimately it resulted in this offer being put on the table.
However, that initial deal has been rebuffed and so it will now be down to Barca to return with an improved offer to try and get Messi to commit his long-term future to the club.
Even though this could be more than enough reason to spark concern and panic for supporters, it’s added in the report that there is no such feeling within the Barca camp as club president Josep Bartomeu is still confident that a deal will get done.
Further, negotiations are still alive and it’s expected that the two parties will reach an agreement in the coming weeks with Messi expecting an improved offer and is in no rush to get something in place as he waits for the best possible contract from Barcelona.
While it will still be a worry the longer it goes on, what isn’t in doubt is the 29-year-old’s form this season as he’s been exceptional yet again with 49 goals and 18 assists in 48 appearances in all competitions.
Combined with the fact that Barcelona will have a new coach next season, getting Messi to commit his future and continue to be a leading figure for the next man in charge will be of major importance to the reigning La Liga champions.