FC Barcelona

Lionel Messi set for new Barcelona contract as La Liga approve deal

Robbie Copeland
Messi will be allowed to stay at Barcelona
Messi will be allowed to stay at Barcelona / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

La Liga have allowed Barcelona to sign Lionel Messi to a new contract despite the Catalan club exceeding the league's salary cap as it stands.

Barça have the highest wage bill in world football and are desperately need to cut it down to fall in line with the league's salary rules. They cannot register any new signings until they do so, which is why the likes of Junior Firpo, Francisco Trincao and Jean-Clair Tobido have all been moved on.

New arrivals Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia have agreed to significant wage cuts just weeks after becoming Barcelona players, and it remains to be seen if they - along with Sergio Aguero and Emerson Royal - will be allowed to play for the club when the season kicks off in August.

But that's not even their biggest worry. Long-serving captain and talisman Lionel Messi is out of contract, and with Barça exceeding the salary cap even without his stratospheric wages, it was difficult to see how they would be able to sign him to a new deal.

Reports coming from Spain, however, suggest that La Liga have granted an exception in the case of Messi. AS say the league have approved their request to sign the Argentine to a new deal, on the grounds that they have promised to cut their wage bill significantly before the season kicks off.

Miralem Pjanic and Samuel Umtiti are two players likely to be on the chopping block as they look to do that, while the future of Antoine Griezmann - one of the highest earners who isn't Messi - is also up in the air.

It's claimed that a new deal for Messi will be announced in the days ahead.

It's good news for the 34-year-old and comes just after he won the first international title of his career. Argentina beat Brazil 1-0 in the final of Copa America on Saturday night (the early hours of Sunday morning in the UK), so he will return to Barça in a few weeks with the wind beneath his sails.