La Liga president Javier Tebas says it would be “impossible” for Barcelona to offer Lionel Messi the same salary he was on last season as they look to commit him to a new contract.
The Argentina star’s contract at the Catalan side expired at the end of June, but they have not given up on giving him a two-year deal.
The Camp Nou team are unable to register any of the players they have signed this summer because of the salary limit imposed on the club, however, which is stopping them from confirming a deal for Messi.
While Tebas acknowledged that Ronald Koeman’s side will find it hard to persuade the six-time Ballon d’Or winner to sign again, he insists no team in the continent can match the salary he was already on.
“He won’t be able to sign with the same conditions of the former contract. That would be impossible but I also don’t think any European club can pay that amount in his former contract, not just Barcelona,” Tebas said.
“The decision of whether Messi stays or goes is not up to me but Barcelona. We would like and hope that Barcelona solve the problem so Messi can stay here in Spain.
“We always want the best players in La Liga but Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo left and we are still here and growing. We continue to work and Serie A and Ligue 1 haven’t grown as much as they like [with these stars].
“The Premier League players don’t win the Ballon d’Or but it is the best competition on a sporting and financial level. We shouldn’t be obsessed with players. I would love Messi to stay but it isn’t essential.”