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12th Jan 2017

Oh good, the ‘Messi to leave Barcelona’ rumours have started again

Here we go again...

Simon Lloyd

Finally, it seems Lionel Messi’s time at Barcelona is up.

His bags are as good as packed.

Or at least that’s how some reports will look at things.

Just hours after Messi chipped in to help Barça secure a safe passage to the Copa Del Rey quarter-finals, there’s more talk of the Argentine leaving Camp Nou.

It stems from comments from club director Oscar Grau, who appeared to suggest that Messi could leave the club if they struggle to meet his wage demands.

With 18-months to run on his current deal, Barca have yet to agree a new contract with their number 10, who is said to want to become the club’s highest earner.

With recently renewed contracts handed out to Neymar and Luis Suarez, Barca are nearing the La Liga-enforced salary cap, throwing a spanner in the works for any hopes of a mega-money upgrade for Messi.

“We want the best players but perhaps we have to prioritise,” Grau said, before indicating that any new deal for arguably the greatest player in their history will be approached with “common sense”.

“We have to make the numbers add up,” he added. “One option is to increase our revenues, as our economic strategy forecasts.

“The club wants the best player in the world to stay at Barca. I would like to ease the concerns of club members and supporters but we have to use common sense.”

Ultimately, Barça will probably find away around this problem and Messi will stay put. Until then, sit back and enjoy the inevitable stories linking him with a Pep Guardiola reunion at Manchester City or £1m-a-week wages at some team in the Chinese Super League that you didn’t even know existed until three or four months ago.