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Lionel Messi signs a contract with Barcelona and accepts a substantial pay reduction

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According to ESPN, Lionel Messi and Barcelona have struck an agreement for the striker to sign a new five-year contract with the Catalan club.

Messi was a free agent when his Barca contract ended, and he has sparked interest from PSG and Manchester City since announcing his intention to end his 20-year connection with the club last summer. The 34-year-last old’s deal, valued over €500 million ($594 million) over four years, expired on June 30.

The Argentinian seemed more receptive to remaining at Camp Nou when Joan Laporta was re-elected president in March. In the following days, a formal announcement is planned.

Laporta had wanted to reach an arrangement with Messi before his last contract expired. With a total debt of almost €1 billion, Barca’s financial troubles rendered it impossible. Transferring players out, lowering the pay cost, and convincing Leo to take a lesser compensation have all necessitated budget cuts.

La Liga president Javier Tebas has warned Barcelona that if they do not cut spending to comply with the league’s Financial Fair Play rules, they would not be permitted to register the new contract.

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