Barcelona Presidential Aspirant Toni Freixa advocates for a Pay Cut for Lionel Messi

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The presidential aspirant of FC Barcelona Toni Freixa has dragged Lionel Messi to his campaign as he stressed on Friday that the Argentine football icon would have to be paid less when he renews his contract with the club.

Lionel Messi’s contract with FC Barcelona will expire in June 2021 and talks about his contract extension has been put on hold due to the political instability at the club.

Currently, the club is in search of a new president as the club’s president Josep Maria Bartomeu has announced his resignation. A presidential election is scheduled to hold at the club on March 15, 2021, after which a board will be constituted to oversee the affairs of the club.

Since the election date was announced, political campaigns have started and names like Victor Font and Toni Freixa are usually thrown up as the frontline candidates for the presidential seat at the club. So far, the candidates have openly reference Messi in their campaign which goes a long way to show the importance of the 6 time Ballon d’Or winner at the club.

While Font stressed the importance of ensuring that the club protects the interest of Messi at the club, Toni Freixa is looking at the possibility of offering Messi a new contract where the 33-year-old Argentine football icon will earn less.

The last contract Messi signed with the club reportedly pays Messi a whopping £500,000 ($610k/€565k) per week. This amount is seen as outrageous especially now that FC Barcelona is trying to remain afloat financially.

Toni Freixa advocates for a Pay Cut for Lionel Messi

Though there is no guarantee that Messi who attempted to leave the club during the 2020 transfer window might not be tempted to remain at Barcelona when his current contract expires, Toni Freixa believes that Messi will put the financial situation of the club first when the club began to negotiate a contract extension with him.

While analyzing how Barcelona can make Messi earn less at the club to El Curubito, Toni said: “With Leo, we will speak calmly, face to face about what is best for Barca and of course for him.

“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 of 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 to play.”