FC Barcelona’s hopes of resigning free agent Lionel Messi today and announcing a new five-year deal tomorrow have been given a major boost by news from Spain this morning.
Previously, La Liga president Javier Tebas had been a thorn in Barca’s side and demanded that they got their salary cap mess sorted before being able to finalize Messi’s new contract, with his old agreement expiring on June 30.
“No, I won’t [turn a blind eye] for Messi, it’s impossible. There are many workers [at La Liga] and in the economic control [department] as well,” he said a fortnight ago.
“This is a right that the clubs have and we have to safeguard the integrity of La Liga.
“We often have to explain [the economic controls] to agents and players because they don’t know about it or think clubs are deceiving them, and we’ve had to explain it in recent years.”
But he did express confidence that Messi would remain in Spain, which is vital considering a eight-year television rights agreement with ESPN.
“We’ll have to analyze everything properly, because if there are dismissals for economic reasons but then they bring in Messi and others… we’d have to look into that,” Teba went on.
“Right now I can only give my opinion, and that is that it is odd that there has been no offer [for Messi] from Manchester City or Paris Saint-Germain.
“And I firmly believe there isn’t and that the player wants to stay.”
Despite his tough man act in public, though, it seems that Tebas has struck the accord with CVC – described by MARCA as “an investment fund specialized in sport that has participated in Formula 1, among others” – with Mess’s predicament in mind.
Of the amount to be shared among La Liga outfits, Barca are apparently due 10%, or rather $320 million – 15% of which can made on player signings.
Mired in over $1 billion’s worth of debt, this is just the shot in the arm – or the ‘oxygen tank’ as Mundo Deportivo have put it – that Barca need to get back on track.