Lionel Messi Rejects Barcelona's New Deal
Barcelona's enigmatic forward, Lionel Messi, will not sign a new deal with the club as he is prepared to leave when the current deal expires.
According to Madrid-based sports daily, Marca, the Argentina captain has told the club’s hierarchy about his decision, when he was on holiday in July with his family.
Messi is reportedly unhappy about what he sees as a witch hunt, by Spanish tax authorities.
Barcelona president, Josep Bartomeu, has recently sealed extensions for a number of key players including Sergio Busquets, Neymar and Javier Mascherano. Ivan Rakitic, Luis Suarez, Andres Iniesta and Marc-Andre Ter Stegen are all waiting for improved deals too.
Just last month, Bartomeu insisted he was not worried about Messi’s future and that negotiations would begin in January.
“We will have negotiations with Messi in the next couple of months,” he told The Telegraph.
“Right now Leo Messi has a contract to the end of the Russian World Cup [in 2018] and we are very happy with him. Very happy. He’s the best player in the world, by far.
“I don’t know what will happen in the future but of course we will always try to explain to him that he is at the best club in the world and this is the best place for him to live and he is living the best experience of his life with us.
“He is still only 29. And if you see him playing it seems like he is one of our very young players. Leo Messi reinvented himself two years ago and changed the way he played and he is a better player now than he was then, a much better player.
“So normally players increase and then reduce but he is still growing. So where are the limits? We don’t know.”