FC Barcelona News

Lionel Messi Might Not Feature for Barcelona Until January

By Amreen
Barcelona hit stumbling block in their attempt to register Messi's new contract
Barcelona hit stumbling block in their attempt to register Messi's new contract / David Ramos/Getty Images

Lionel Messi may have to wait until January to play for Barcelona as the club might not be able to register the former club captain along with new signings Sergio Aguero, Eric Garcia, and Memphis Depay in time ahead of the new season.

Barca have a hefty wage bill they need to trim in accordance with LaLiga regulations and need to offload players during the ongoing transfer window. They have until August 31 to submit Messi's new contract and their other signings to LaLiga, according to ESPN.

However, failure to do so will see all four players wait until at least January to make an appearance for the club. Club president Joan Laporta recently stated that he cannot envisage anything other than Messi staying at the club next season.

"Leo Messi's boots will continue on the Camp Nou pitch," said Laporta last month. "He wants to stay. I do not contemplate a no. It isn't easy, we'll do what we can.

“There is no need to seduce him, he is determined if there are a series of circumstances to stay. He is OK but he hasn't signed yet. [Sergio] Kun Aguero tells him every day: 'Sign that, we will play together'.

"In economic terms, he has made it very easy, but financial fair play is another battleground. We have to follow the rules, we will follow them. There will be more sales and loans. Without paying a transfer fee. We will do a lot of loans because we have a very high sports payroll compared to other clubs."

Barcelona have also failed to agree pay cuts with long-serving players Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba, and Sergi Roberto. Busquets earns around €16 million a year at the club, while Alba is on €13m, and Roberto earns €10.5m.

Antoine Griezmann has been linked with a move back to Atletico Madrid, while Philippe Coutinho, Miralem Pjanic, and Samuel Umtiti have all been linked with exits this summer.