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SPORTS | 02-07-2021 14:39

Barcelona club president says talks with out-of-contract Messi are 'progressing'

"We want him to stay, Leo wants to stay and we are looking for the best formula," says club president Joan Laporta.

Barcelona's contract negotiations with Lionel Messi "are progressing as expected," club president Joan Laporta told Spanish public television on Friday.

The Argentine superstar, who is currently at the Copa América, became a free agent on Thursday when his contract with Barcelona expired.

"We want him to stay, Leo wants to stay and we are looking for the best formula," said Laporta. "We would like it to be concluded as quickly as possible but we know it will take time."

Messi, 34, joined Barcelona as a 13-year-old but tried to leave last August, citing a clause in his contract and a club that had had "no project or anything for a long time." 

He has inevitably been linked with a series of possible moves, from Manchester City and Paris St-Germain to David Beckham's Inter Miami.

Another rumour, thought to be extremely unlikely, is that the Rosario-born superstar could return home to play for Newell's Old Boys.

– TIMES/AFP

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