Lionel Messi has reportedly rejected Barcelona’s initial contract offer for the renewal of his current deal with them.

Spanish publication AS have reported that Lionel Messi has turned down Barcelona’s opening contract offer to renew his current deal with the club. The deal only has little over a year remaining to run out, as it expires in June 2018.

Messi has grown by leaps and bounds ever since he joined Barcelona as a 14-year-old kid. More than 15 years later, he has enjoyed a career unlike most, and is rightly regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, having guided Barcelona to multiple title triumphs while himself winning the Ballon d’Or a record five times.

Over the years, Messi has consistently been one of the most prolific players in the world, finishing among the top scorers in Europe season after season. That is evidenced by his exemplary record, as Messi recently scored his 500th competitive goal for Barcelona in one of the most clutch moments of the season, as he netted the winner in the El Clasico.

Still no renewal. (Photo courtesy - David Ramos/Getty Images)
Still no renewal. (Photo courtesy – David Ramos/Getty Images)

That goal sent Barcelona back to the top of the La Liga table, having struggled to match up to Real Madrid for large parts of the season. That was another indication that Messi is truly back to his best this season after what was a slightly below par campaign in 2015/16 by his lofty standards.

Indeed, his record this season is nothing short of incredible, having found the back of the net 49 times, while providing an additional 18 assists in 48 appearances across all competitions. That makes it a direct contribution every 61 minutes – a record that is unmatched in Europe.

However, despite all the highs over the years, there is growing uncertainty surrounding his future at Barcelona. That is because Messi has little over 12 months remaining to run on his current deal with the Catalan club, and despite being in negotiations with them for several months now, things have headed nowhere.

Several of Barcelona’s current players, club legends as well as President Josep Maria Bartomeu have been urging Messi to pen a new deal with the Blaugranas, while the Argentinian wizard, too, previously hinted that he would sign a renewal soon.

However, that is in contrast with the latest set of reports, as it turns out that Messi has rejected Barcelona’s first offer, which was worth around €30-35 million net per season. The report, though, also goes on to add Messi’s camp have reassured Barcelona that a renewal will be penned soon.

Messi is expecting Barcelona to table an improved offer soon, and a renewal is certainly in the offing, according to the AS report. It now remains to be seen how soon the two parties come to a common ground as everyone associated with the club waits with bated breath for the renewal announcement.

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