Barcelona presidential candidate Emili Rousaud has made a worrying admission that star attacker Lionel Messi could leave the Nou Camp in January if he does not agree to take a pay-cut.
Messi, 33, has spent his entire career with the La Liga giants and has grown to become arguably the greatest footballer to ever step foot on a football pitch.
Barcelona’s Messi has enjoyed a career littered with silverware, both collectively and individual awards including a whopping six Ballon d’Or trophies.
After bagging his 900th goal for Barcelona during their 1-0 win over Levante on Sunday evening, Messi’s name will always be etched into Catalonian folklore.
However, despite a spell with Barcelona which has spanned over 20-years, Messi’s long-term future has been cast into doubt during the last 12-months.
A summer of behind-the-scenes turmoil indicated all was not well at the Nou Camp as Messi looked a strong contender to depart the club.
The South American magician was heavily linked with a move to Manchester City where he would have teamed-up with former manager Pep Guardiola.
However, due to contractual obligations, the 33-year-old’s move out of Barcelona failed to materialise and he eventually conceded during an interview with Goal that he’ll remain at the Nou Camp for at least the 2020-21 season.
In light of the ongoing saga, Messi, who is out of contract next summer and will therefore be free to talk to clubs as early as January 1, 2021, perhaps looks even more likely to move on.
Presidential candidate Rousaud has recently admitted that the club’s star forward will need to accept a pay-cut or fans will be facing the real possibility their legend will leave.
“We’ll have to sit down with Messi and ask him to make a salary cut,” Rousaud told ARA, as quoted by Marca. “Right now, with things as they are, it’s unsustainable.
“We’ll ask him to make the sacrifice. If there’s no agreement, then Messi will leave.
“Messi has written the most brilliant pages in the club’s history.
“We have to honour our legends, but the reality is what it is.
“I believe that things have to be said as they are. We can’t fool our members. We’ll make every effort to ensure he stays, but always with the interests of the club first.”