Messi to only play for Barca in 2022?


FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi saga could reportedly take a turn for the worse, with new reports suggesting that he might only get to play for the club again in 2022. 

It has been widely reported that the 34-year-old has agreed to a new five-year deal, including a 50% pay cut, with the Catalan giants, but his contract is yet to be announced as the Blaugrana are yet to meet LaLiga's salary cap.

Read: Barca to 'take their own stars to court'

In order to complete the signing and have Messi playing on the pitch in the upcoming season, Barca have to significantly reduce their wage bill, and are in the process of doing that, having already seen nine first-team players leave the Camp Nou in this window. 

However, ESPN has released a shocking report claiming that Barcelona have now "hit a brick wall" in terms of outgoings. 

Some players who have been placed on the club's transfer list are reportedly insisting on maintaining their high salaries should they move elsewhere, while the club is also understood to be demanding high transfer fees for players deemed by many to be "flops".  

The aforementioned players are rumoured to include Philippe Coutinho and Antoine Griezmann, with the French striker's proposed swap move to Atletico Madrid falling apart after he reportedly refused to take a pay cut. 

The Barcelona hierarchy have also hit a stumbling block regarding the further reduction of some of their first-team stars' salaries, with the trio of Jordi Alba, Sergi Roberto and Sergio Busquets said to be yet to agree to such terms.      

With only three weeks before Barca kick-start their 2021/22 LaLiga campaign, the club now faces a race against time to register their new signings, as well as Messi.

If the president Joan Laporta is unable to navigate a way out of this situation, the Argentine will not be able to play for the club again until January 2022 at the earliest. 

Scroll through the gallery below to see the 10 players with the most trophies since 2000, including seven past and present Barca stars


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