eo Messi returned to Barcelona late on Wednesday evening after spending several days on the island of Ibiza as the long-running saga over his contract extension looks to be coming to an end.
The announcement of a deal between LaLiga and the CVC Capital Partners investment fund, which will give an injection of 2,700 million euros to the competition, with FC Barcelona expected to receive around a tenth of that in the form of a ‘soft’ loan to be repaid over 40 years.
That cash injection will allow Barca to circumnavigate the problems they had been experiencing in fitting Messi’s wages into the wage ceiling imposed on the club, facilitating the signing of the striker’s new contract.
Messi has been without a deal since his last contract expired at the end of June, effectively making him a free agent, but now the Spanish press speculate that an announcement over his future could come either Thursday or before Barca play Juventus in their traditional Joan Gamper tournament pre-season friendly.
When asked about Messi’s future on Wednesday night, Barca coach Ronald Koeman replied that “the most important thing is that he continues with us, but not just Messi: there are others players who have not been with us in pre-season.”
Koeman spoke after a last-minute goal saw his side lose 2-1 away to Red Bull Salzburg in a friendly game in which Barca’s goal was scored by Martin Braithwaite.