Messi's renewal will be for five seasons

The agreement with the Argentine runs parallel to Barça's race to meet La Liga's salary cap

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Leo Messi finalizes the renewal with Barça.

BarcelonaAs reported by L'Esportiu and confirmed by ARA, Barça and Leo Messi have made progress towards the Argentine's renewal. For the contract to come within La Liga's fair play rules and due to the drop in revenue and the rule of La Liga, the contract will be spread out until 2026. That is, for five seasons

Although the initial intention was that Messi would sign until 2023 and receive a deferred salary until 2026, with the player finishing off his career in the United States, the fiscal complications of this contract meant a more honest option was to sign him now for five years and establish break clauses for 2023 according to which the player would receive a previously agreed compensation. However, this will still be considerably less than Messi earnt up until now. The Argentinian will receive a signing premium, a €40m salary gross this season and would be paid bonuses asymmetrically, depending on some variables associated with performance and also when he decides to put an end to his career as a Barça player.

The agreement between Barça and Messi is pending the final details between the parties and could be announced soon. This does not mean, however, that La Liga has given it the green light. Announcing a signing (as in the case of Messi, who is now a free agent) is not the same as registering him for the competition. In fact, considering the club's struggles to meet the salary cap, right now not only would Messi not be allowed to play, but neither could any of the four signings presented so far: Kun Agüero, Eric Garcia, Emerson Royal and Memphis Depay. La Liga begins in a month at the Camp Nou with a match against Real Sociedad.

Match against La Liga in hand

So far, in this race to empty the dressing room Barça have managed to rid themselves of Francisco Trincão, Junior Firpo, Carles Aleñá and Jean-Clair Todibo. They have also sold Konrad de la Fuente, a player represented by Messi's brother. These, however, are some of the more modest wages in the team; the club still has to find a way out for higher wage-earners that make it difficult at this time to fit Messi and new signings under the salary cap. In this sense, from the management is working to find solutions for Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembélé, Philippe Coutinho, Miralem Pjanic or Samuel Umtiti.

They are all at the top end of the squad's salary scale, but each case has its own independent difficulty. Griezmann is the highest paid and, in turn, the one with the highest short-term projection. Dembélé finishes his contract in 2022, is injured until November and the club wants to renew his contract to avoid him leaving for free. Coutinho's contract ends in 2023, he is also injured and no possible destination could manage to pay his salary, a similar to case to Pjanic's y Umtiti's, who recently, backed by the contract they have in force, rejected offers from the club to become free agents.