Time is running out for Barcelona to register Lionel Messi in time for the 2021/22 La Liga season.
It seems abundantly clear now that the club want their talisman to stay for one final contract, and he too wants to see out the remainder of his career at the elite level in the Spanish top-flight.
However, the perilous financial state that Barca currently find themselves in mean that this is far from a foregone conclusion.
With pre-season starting on Monday, the day after Messi will have played the Copa America final with Argentina, by the time the player is due back with the club, there will be only three weeks until the start of the new campaign.
If he’s not able to be registered then, for example because Barcelona haven’t managed to trim their wage bill, who knows what the ultimate outcome will be.
As Sport report, Ronald Koeman is completely on board with the club board’s plan to sell some senior and important players if that’s what it takes to renew Messi.
Hardly the ideal preparation for the new season mind.