Messi’s father arrives in Barcelona

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Lionel Messi’s father and agent, Jorge, arrived in Barcelona on Sunday as the forward’s future at the Catalan club remains uncertain.

A source told ESPN that Messi Sr. plans to travel on to Italy this week to deal with some personal issues and that no talks have yet been scheduled with Barca.

A meeting with new Barcelona president Joan Laporta has not yet been ruled out, but no date has been fixed to begin negotiations over a potential new deal for Messi.

Messi’s current terms expire in June and he has said that he will wait until the end of the season before deciding on his future.

Laporta, who was elected for a second spell as Barca president in March, said that he was convinced the Argentine would stay put at Camp Nou.

The Barca president is currently putting the finishing touches to the contract offer, sources have told ESPN, having wanted to carry out an internal audit on the club’s finances first.

More important than the wages on offer, though, will be Laporta’s ability to convince Messi that he can compete for the Champions League if he stays in Catalonia.

Messi wanted to leave Barca last year and Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are among the clubs monitoring the situation in the event he becomes available on a free transfer this summer.

However, with improved performances under coach Ronald Koeman bringing Copa success this weekend and helping Barca get back into the La Liga title race, there is renewed optimism he could stay.

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By Ofhani Munyai

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