LIONEL MESSI is officially a free agent.
The Argentine superstar's contract expired at midnight on June 30 and he's now eligible to leave Barcelona on a free transfer.
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The six-time Ballon d'Or winner has scored 474 goals and provided 217 assists for Barcelona in 520 appearances.
His 20-year association with the club has seen Messi collect 10 La Liga titles, four Champions League trophies and countless other personal and domestic honours.
But technically – he's unemployed and available for absolutely nothing.
However, Barcelona chiefs are working tirelessly to reach an agreement on a new two-year contract for their iconic No. 10.
The club's president Joan Laporta has reassured supporters that discussions are 'on track' with the player eager to stay.
Laporta told El Transistor: "We want Messi to stay and Leo wants to stay, everything is on track.
Lionel Messi Next Club odds – Betfair
- Paris Saint-Germain – 5/1
- Manchester City – 11/2
- Any MLS Club – 9/1
- Inter Milan – 20/1
- Manchester United – 33/1
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"We have the issue of fair play, we are in the process of finding the best solution for both parties."
However, finances are the issue with the club revealing debts of £1.1bn earlier this year.
And Spanish football writer Guillem Balague has suggested that Barcelona will need to slash their wage bill by £172million to accommodate their attacking maestro.
Balague said: "Messi's contract renewal is new president Joan Laporta's main priority and he is currently negotiating it directly with Messi's father and representative, Jorge Messi.
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"To be able to keep the Argentine, the club will have to reduce their wage bill by around 200m euros to meet La Liga's Financial Fair Play requirements.
"Messi knows of the interest from other clubs, but up to now has not negotiated anything with them, waiting first to hear what Barcelona were offering."
Should Messi, who is currently away on international duty NOT extend his relationship with the club – Paris is his most likely destination.
That's according to bookmakers Betfair, who've installed Paris Saint-Germain as 5/1 favourites to clinch his signature.
Manchester City are close behind at 11/2 with Pep Guardiola potentially linking up with his former pupil at the Etihad.
Any MLS Club is offered at 9/1 with Inter Milan and Manchester United the outsiders of the pack at 20/1 and 33/1 respectively.
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