Lionel Messi is reportedly taking a 50 percent pay cut to stay at Barcelona, but that doesn’t tell the full story.
The game’s best player, according to multiple reports, has agreed to a new five-year deal that will run out in 2026 when Messi is 39 years old.
At times, due to Messi’s desire to leave last year and Barcelona’s financial struggles, a split looked somewhat likely. Now, it appears the Argentine star, who is fresh off a Copa America triumph, will stay with his lifelong club.
Instead of a widely discussed two-year extension, Messi has reportedly signed on until 2026 to help the club spread the financial damage.
“The reason it’s a five-year deal is that it is likely that Messi will play the next two years but it’s a longer deal so that he stays linked to the club as an ambassador,” Euan McTear told Sky Sports.
“But the talk is he might go to MLS after two years while still being paid by the club.
“It’s a way for Barcelona to spread out the payment over five years. That’s part of the reason he’s been able to take such a massive cut of around 50 per cent.”
On top of that, Antoine Griezmann may prove to be the sacrificial lamb in the Messi deal, with the Barcelona attacker reportedly nearing a return to Atletico Madrid.
Griezmann is on big money at Barcelona, with the Catalan giants, according to The Guardian, eyeing Saul in return.