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Barcelona transfer news: Presidential candidate says Lionel Messi must take pay cut to stay

Lionel Messi
(Image credit: PA)

Lionel Messi will need to lower his Barcelona wages if he's to stay on at the club beyond this season, according to one of the club’s presidential candidates.

The Argentina superstar submitted a transfer request over the summer after growing frustrated at the running of the club under Josep Maria Bartomeu.

Messi eventually decided to avoid taking the La Liga club to court and to stay put, and Bartomeu has since resigned from his position ahead of a vote of no confidence.

Elections to decide his successor will take place early next year, and candidate Toni Freixa highlighted that the club’s perilous financial situation would make it impossible for Messi to remain on his current terms.

"With Leo we will speak calmly, face-to-face with Barcelona's best at the horizon," he told El Curubito (via Goal). 

"To him, as to all the players who have to renew or sign, we will make an offer that, of course, will not be feasible to match the terms that he has had until now.

"It's evident, and the members cannot be deceived, that the proposal that will be presented to him will not be the same as the one he has had until now, because income has fallen significantly and it will be necessary to find another formula.

"You don't have to conquer Messi or convince him with other things. You have to look him in the eye and talk with him to know what each party wants, what he wants and what Barcelona want. We think Messi still has a lot of football left to play."

Reports have suggested that Barcelona’s debt is over the £700m mark, while their wage budget currently stands at around £1 billion.

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