Messi delays return to Barcelona training

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Barcelona captain Lionel Messi has still not returned to training with the club as the wait for him to sign his new contract with the club goes on.

Barca’s first-team squad remain in Germany, where they have been based for the past week, ahead of Wednesday’s friendly against FC Salzburg.

Excluding injured players and the trio involved in the Olympic Games, the only members of the squad not involved in the trip are those who reached the Copa America final in July.

Sergio Aguero was expected to start pre-season on Monday following three weeks off but returned a few days early and has been working individually at the club’s Barcelona training base since Friday.

Brazil defender Emerson Royal, meanwhile, underwent COVID-19 and medical checks on Monday ahead of returning to training this week.

Monday would also have marked the day Messi was due back in, three weeks after Argentina beat Brazil in the Copa America final, but sources have told ESPN the club and the player have decided to delay his start date.

As a free agent, the forward would be allowed to use the club’s facilities, as long as adequate insurance is in place, but the decision has been made to wait until his new deal is signed.

Messi’s contract with Barca expired on 30 June, technically ending his 21-year relationship with the club. However, he has reached an agreement in principle to sign a new five-year deal.

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By FARPost Reporter