…FIFA overturned his initial 4-match Ban for Argentina On Appeal
Lionel Messi has reportedly rejected an opening contract offer from Barcelona worth around £29million a season, according to sources in Spain.
The Argentina international is in no hurry to renew his deal at the Nou Camp and is particularly keen to get the right offer following recent bumper renewals for Neymar and Luis Suarez.
Barcelona have been given some encouragement from Messi’s camp that he will end up extending his stay with the club, despite the first offer being knocked back, according to AS.
The 29-year-old’s current contract expires at the end of next season, so Barcelona will be eager to resolve the situation before too long as top clubs around Europe are likely to step up their interest if his deal remains unsigned.
Messi has spent his entire career with Barcelona, scoring an astonishing 502 goals in 579 appearances to establish himself as perhaps their greatest ever player and one of the finest in the history of the game as a whole.
The player and his father Jorge have been in discussions with the Catalan giants for a few months now, but for now it’s bad news for the club in their efforts to ensure he commits his future to them.
Meanwhile, the Argentine forward will be available for his country’s crucial World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay, Venezuela and Peru after FIFA’s Appeal Committee lifted his four-game suspension from international matches.
The 29-year-old was handed the ban retrospectively by world football’s governing body in March — along with a fine of 10,000 Swiss francs ($10,160) — after television footage showed him verbally abusing a match official during a qualifier against Chile.
As a result, he subsequently missed his country’s 2-0 defeat to Bolivia in La Paz and was set to be suspended for three more qualifying games later this year.
Messi and Argentina appealed the ban, though, and on Thursday his lawyer, Juan de Dios Crespo, and representatives from the Argentine Football Association (AFA) appeared at a hearing in Zurich.
“The FIFA Appeal Committee has upheld the appeal lodged by the Argentine Football Association, on behalf of the player Lionel Messi, against the decision Ban for Argentina On Appeal