Messi to miss Barca’s last game


Barcelona have given Lionel Messi permission to miss this weekend’s game against Eibar and to have some extra time off before this summer’s Copa America.

Barca wrap up their season against already-relegated Eibar on Saturday with nothing to play for after one win in their last five games ended their La Liga title hopes.

Messi, 33, is out of contract in June, and if he does not extend his 20-year stay at Camp Nou, last weekend’s 2-1 defeat at home to Celta Vigo will have been his last match for the club.

However, president Joan Laporta has always said he is “convinced” Messi will renew, and sources have told ESPN that Barca plan to offer him a two-year deal with the option for an additional year.

The terms also will include the chance for him to finish his career in Major League Soccer before returning to Barca in a non-playing capacity.

Messi wanted to leave last summer, with Manchester City the leading candidate to sign him, but the club refused to let him go.

City and Paris Saint-Germain continue to monitor the forward’s situation at Barca amid the possibility of signing him for free this summer.

Messi played 47 games for Barca this season and scored 38 goals in all competitions. He will join up with Argentina in the coming weeks for the Copa America, where they kick off their campaign against Chile on June 13 in Buenos Aires.


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