Lionel Messi 'Will Leave' Barcelona In The Summer If He Doesn’t Take A Pay Cut On His £500,000-A-Week Wages
Lionel Messi will leave Barcelona in the summer if he doesn't take a pay cut on his £500,000-a-week wages.
That's according to Emili Rousaud, one of the presidential candidates in the club's upcoming elections.
Messi future at the Nou Camp remains unresolved after he handed in a transfer request following Barca's 8-2 Champions League mauling at the hands of Bayern Munich.
His current contract expires in June and he will be able to talk to foreign clubs about a move from January.
Manchester City have been linked with a move for the global superstar, but he could even stay put with Barca. That, though, would involve agreeing terms on a new deal that would involve a substantial pay decrease.
Rousaud, who is in the running for the presidential election which takes place on January 24th following Josep Maria Bartomeu's resignation in October, told Catalan newspaper ARA: "We'll have to sit down with Messi and ask him to make a salary cut.
"Right now, with things as they are, it's unsustainable. We'll ask him to make the sacrifice. If there's no agreement, then Messi will leave.
"Messi has written the most brilliant pages in the club's history. We have to honour our legends, but the reality is what it is.
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"I believe that things have to be said as they are. We can't fool our members. We'll make every effort to ensure he stays, but always with the interests of the club first."
Messi scored the winner in Sunday night's 1-0 victory over Levante. Barcelona are currently nine points behind La Liga leaders Real Sociedad.
While Rousaud seems resigned to losing Messi, Victor Font, another of Barca's presidential candidates is 'convinced' he can keep the Argentinian at the club.
"I'm convinced that with a competitive, exciting and, especially in Messi's case, long-term project - one that could even go beyond the day that Messi retires - we will convince him to stay," Font told ESPN.
"Messi is the best player in the history of the number one sport in the world. Imagine what that means.
"For that reason, the Messi-Barca association is a strategic one and we must do everything possible to guarantee the association lives on.
"Keeping in mind he can speak with other clubs in January, phoning Messi must be one of the priorities."
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