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Lionel Messi’s future at FC Barcelona was a story that first appeared in the headlines with great doubt in the summer when he shocked the world and made it public that he wanted to leave the club he has been at since a young boy.

Indeed, Manchester City were heavily linked with a move as it seemed the Argentine superstar could be set to reunite with former manager, Pep Guardiola. However, nothing materialised and Messi remains doing what he does best for FC Barcelona, producing on the pitch.

Nonetheless, his future appears to remain in doubt at the Nou Camp and the latest comments to have been made make it seem all the more likely that he may be on the move in 2021.

Messi has just seven months left on his current deal and is free to talk with teams in other countries from January about the possibility of a free transfer that summer. Although he will be offered a new contract to remain at Barcelona, he will have to take a wage cut.

According to presidential candidate Emili Rousaud, the Argentine’s salary is too big for the club to manage because of their current financial predicament and they want him to consider new terms to a reduced contract.

The candidate, who was the former vice-president during Josep Maria Bartomeu’s leadership, believes the striker would accept those terms, as long as they could convince him that the club will return to winning ways. However, that should not come as too much as a surprise as everybody loves winners, whether it be in the world of football or another sport such as horse racing and the huge Grand National event that takes place each year in England.

“What matters most here is the sporting project. When Messi said he was leaving he didn’t mention money. He has the highest salary in the world, no-one earns more than him, he doesn’t want to leave because he earns too little.

“He wants to leave because he wants to win trophies. He referred to that recently when he said: “The Champions League is not within our reach.” He wants a team full of talent.”

Despite being ranked as the football club that has the biggest revenues in European football by the 2020 Deloitte Money League, their finances have been smashed to pieces because of the pandemic, which has led to Barcelona delaying and deferring some payments they make to players.

Messi is believed to earn the most in the world of football, with L’Equipe (via ESPN) having claimed that he earns a huge €8.2 million per month from the club.

Rousaud has also said he wishes to name Barca’s renovated Camp Nou stadium after Messi, a move he believes will help attract sponsors.