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Going NOWHERE: Lionel Messi set to EXTEND Barcelona contract despite boardroom rows & public spat with former teammate Abidal

Going NOWHERE: Lionel Messi set to EXTEND Barcelona contract despite boardroom rows & public spat with former teammate Abidal
Despite previous boardroom unrest behind the scenes at the Camp Nou, Lionel Messi looks set to extend his FC Barcelona contract this summer, according to reports from Catalonia.

According to Mundo Deportivo, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner will agree terms that should keep him playing for the Blaugrana until at least June 30, 2023, by when he will have just turned 35.

Messi, about to celebrate his 33rd birthday in exactly a week’s time, is currently under contract until the summer of 2021. As was well known, however, the Argentine boasted a unique clause in his deal that meant he could have walked away as a free agent upon the conclusion of this season, had it not been brought to a halt by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Many corners suggested he would, and consequently turn his back on the outfit that reared him from adolescence at their famed La Masia academy, amid turmoil at the club.

First Messi became embroiled in a public spat with director of football Eric Abidal, who, shortly after the firing of coach Ernesto Valverde, suggested that the players had requested his dismissal and weren’t working hard enough in training.

President Josep Bartomeu stepped in to defuse the row between the two parties, but was then forced to call an emergency meeting with the team’s captains when an investigation by SER Catalunya detailed how Barca had allegedly contracted social media company I3 Ventures to smear future presidential candidates, ex-players and current ones such as Messi and Gerard Pique.

READ MORE: Messi hits out at Barca board as players AGREE to 70% wage reduction so club staff won't face pay cut 

Six members of the board resigned over the debacle in April, but despite this and the hard truth that the Blaugrana will probably not have the money to pay for a reunion with Neymar next term, the number 10 looks destined to prolong his La Liga career.

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According to Mundo Deportivo, the mentioned clause expired on June 10 and contact with Messi’s father Jorge has been constant despite Barcelona representatives not being able to sit down at the negotiating table with him yet. Even by extending two years, his son apparently retains the option to terminate the new deal season-upon-season.