JOAN LAPORTA claims contract talks are ‘going well’ with Lionel Messi – despite Barcelona’s wage woes.
The legendary Argentine forward, 33, is officially a free agent after his Nou Camp deal expired last week.
Barcelona are eager to keep Messi for at least one more season.
But a financial crisis means they must first slash club wages before handing their talisman new terms.
New signings including Sergio Aguero and Memphis Depay cannot be registered after Barcelona busted LaLiga’s wage cap.
And that has left the door open for ambitious clubs to approach Messi.
However, Barcelona president Laporta is adamant the icon will remain in Catalonia, claiming that talks over a new deal are making good progress.
Laporta told La Sexta: “Everything is going for Messi’s contract.”
Indeed, the outlet adds an agreement has already been reached.
And it’s just a matter of time until it’s made official.
However, should Messi get cold feet or Barca find themselves unable to afford a new deal, there is one concrete option open.
Ambitious Egyptian side Pharco FC have declared they will seek talks with Messi over an incredible free transfer.
And they hope to lure him by signing former teammate Dani Alves, who will first represent Brazil at the Tokyo Olympics.