PETE JENSON: After flirting with Man City, the fog hanging over Lionel Messi has finally lifted … Joan Laporta won him over and knows it’s a case of when, not if, he signs a new deal
- Lionel Messi is as relaxed about his future as ever since the last deal in 2017
- His head is clear and his legs rested, which is bad news for Barca’s title rivals
- The arrival of ally and new president Joan Laporta has all but decided Messi’s future
- Laporta knows how to refrain from exerting any pressure to force a new deal too quickly
- Messi is happy to sign a deal, but wants to be the first to win the league and the cup double
Lionel Messi’s head is clear and his legs rested, which can only be bad news for the two other teams in the Spanish title race.
With his ally and former president Joan Laporta back in preparation for his first summer, Messi is as relaxed about his future as ever since he signed his last contract in 2017.
If negotiations between Laporta and Messi’s father Jorge go well in the final weeks of the season, a new deal will be signed for at least two more seasons before playing his career in the United States after taking another shot at winning. a World Cup in Qatar. in 2022.
Lionel Messi’s head is clear and his legs rested, which is bad news for Barca’s title rivals; His ally and new president Joan Laporta is now preparing for his first summer back
Messi is as relaxed about his future as ever since he signed his last contract in 2017
If the change of president has resolved him mentally, he has also received the physical boost of a two-week break for the last 10 league games of the season.
Diario AS found out that Messi had played 92 percent of the minutes so far this season, having been eliminated only once and starting only twice on the bench.
Ronald Koeman has started the season with a plan to manage Messi’s minutes, but the Argentinian wants to play himself, his fitness and the team’s need to be at the base. was unstoppable and irreplaceable.
But with international games being canceled for South American teams, Messi has been able to relax while other players were on their way to play for their country.
He has been revived and ready to add to the incredible 19 goals he has scored in 19 games so far this year.
When the season is over, or at least reaches its peak, Messi is expected to put a new deal on paper – his last at Barcelona. But first, his priority remains the last 11 games of the season (including the Spanish cup final).
Messi put himself in touch with his longtime Barca boss Pep Guardiola last summer, but the move failed
Laporta, with all the sensitivities to the way footballers think his predecessors lacked, will know not to pressurize to force the announcement of a decision in advance.
On Wednesday morning – in the spirit of ‘he’s definitely staying now!’ – the rule repeated in Spain was that ‘Manchester City will not try to sign Lionel Messi again this summer’.
It’s a bit misleading as City didn’t really actively try to sign Messi last summer. They were given the opportunity from the man himself, no less that Messi would put himself in touch with Pep Guardiola.
He has now been revived and leads Ronald Koeman’s (right) | quest for a league and cup double
And they respectfully stood by as Messi took on then-President Josep Bartomeu over whether his contract included a clause allowing him to leave for free in his senior year.
Had he won that particular battle with the club, City would have negotiated with him as a free agent. They were the only club he wanted to sign with when he left Barcelona last summer.
But they never intervened in his fight with Barça and it’s no surprise that, despite Messi now officially being free to talk to other clubs, they are not making any moves, in part because they expect Messi to stay.
What City planned last summer if they got Messi for free was a lengthy deal that would have helped them stagger payments to him over time and included a period where he would become the club’s ambassador.
Messi has rediscovered some of his best shapes in recent weeks and looks ready to go to work
Barcelona is now concocting a similar deal that circumvents their own salary cap imposed by LaLiga by pledging to keep him with the club well into the future.
As things stand, Messi is expected to be happy to sign such a deal. But before then he wants to land a league and cup doubles.
It’s Real Madrid away on April 11, then it’s the Copa del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao on April 17, and then current leader Atletico Madrid will visit the Nou Camp on May 9.
Three Finals to Enjoy – Messi is rested, relaxed about his future and ready to go to work.