Lionel Messi will have to see his wages being slashed if he is to agree a new contract with Barcelona, presidential candidate Toni Freixa has claimed.

In an interview on Catalan TV Show El Curubito, Barcelona presidential candidate Toni Freixa has hinted that Lionel Messi will have take a pay cut if he signs a new deal with the club. The Barcelona captain has been linked with a move away from Camp Nou, with Manchester City keen on signing him.

Messi has enjoyed an illustrious career since making his Barcelona debut well over a decade ago. From being a teenage prodigy to becoming the best player in the world, it has been quite a rise for the Argentine. However, the last few years have been tumultuous for Barcelona, with Messi an increasingly unhappy figure.

Things reached a head post the end of the 2019/20 season, with Messi handing a transfer request, after growing disillusioned with the way the club was being run. Subsequent rumours suggested that he was set to make a big move to Manchester City to reunite with former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola.

A move, though, did not materialise after Messi did a U-turn and chose to honour his contract with the Blaugrana. Meanwhile, Barcelona’s clean-up appears set to begin after Josep Maria Bartomeu resigned as the president last month, with the entire board stepping down as well.

It has since been suggested that Messi could perhaps, stay put at Barcelona, especially if things improve behind the scenes at the Catalan club. However, his future remains uncertain, with Manchester City reportedly still in pursuit of the Barcelona captain.

In a spot of bother. (Photo by Ander Gillenea/AFP via Getty Images)

In a spot of bother. (Photo by Ander Gillenea/AFP via Getty Images)

If Messi does choose to extend his stay at Barcelona, he will have to take a pay cut, presidential candidate Toni Freixa has claimed. Speaking to El Curubito (h/t The Sun), he said, “With Leo we will speak calmly, face to face with Barcelona’s best interests at heart.”

“To him, as to all the players who have to renew or sign, we will make an offer that, of course, will not be feasible to match the terms that he has had until now. It’s evident, and the members cannot be deceived, that the proposal that will be presented to him will not be the same as the one he has had until now, because income has fallen significantly and it will be necessary to find another formula.”

The comments by Freixa do make sense, with Barcelona, like several other clubs, suffering a great deal on the financial front since the advent of the coronavirus. Reports have suggested that Barcelona have begun negotiations for universal pay cuts at the club and it will not be surprising to see Messi do the same if he agrees a new deal at Camp Nou.

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