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Confusion over Messi Barca future

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There is confusion in Spain over the future of Lionel Messi, with reports suggesting that the Argentinean international has rejected a new £30m-a-year contract extension.

Messi’s current deal is believed to expire in June 2018, and talks between the club and Messi’s representatives have been on-going for a number of months now, with Barcelona eager to tie the player down to a new deal before the start of the new season.

But Spanish newspaper AS have reported that Messi has rejected an initial offer of somewhere in the region of £30m, possibly in the light of the lucrative new deals signed by team-mates Luis Suarez and Neymar recently.

The paper does however claim that negotiations continue and that Messi expects to sign a deal soon in the coming months.

It would appear that the Spanish newspaper Marca has a different take on the negotiations, however.

They report that negotiations between Messi’s father, Jorge, and Josep Maria Bartomeu have been positive, with a number of key details finalised.

The newspaper also claims that Robert Fernandez, the technical secretary of the club, has repeatedly assured directors at the club that he is completely confident Messi will remain a Barcelona player.

The Argentinean, 29, has enjoyed another superb season leading the line for Barça.

He has scored 33 goals in 31 La Liga matches, and currently leads the Champions League top goalscorers chart this season, despite the fact that Barcelona were eliminated at the quarter-final stage by Juventus.

The forward was also buoyed by news earlier this week that his controversial four-match international ban was to be lifted.

Messi was cleared by FIFA on Friday to play in the next three World Cup qualifiers after a ban for insulting a referee’s assistant was lifted.

Messi already served one match of the four-match ban that was imposed when the FIFA disciplinary committee gave its ruling hours before Argentina’s 2-0 loss in Bolivia in March.

“We are very happy that FIFA once again has credibility at AFA and that we can count on Leo Messi,”Claudio Tapia, the head of the Argentine Football Association, wrote on his Instagram account.

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