sport news Lionel Messi is at war with Barcelona's board as he enters final year of his ...

The factors that weigh against Lionel Messi signing a contract extension with Barcelona at the end of this season have been stacking up lately. 

The current sporting director, Eric Abidal, upset him by suggesting the players got Ernesto Valverde the sack. 

The president stands accused of hiring a firm of social media experts whose company was behind online accounts that published negative stories about, among others, Messi's wife. 

Lionel Messi jumps into the air to celebrate after scoring against Real Sociedad last weekend

Lionel Messi jumps into the air to celebrate after scoring against Real Sociedad last weekend

The Argentina star fell out with his former team-mate, Eric Abidal (left), earlier this season

The Argentina star fell out with his former team-mate, Eric Abidal (left), earlier this season

And the club failed to re-sign his old friend Neymar last summer or build a competitive team for this season. As he said in a recent interview: 'Right now we don't have what it takes to win the Champions League.'

Messi does not need to renew his current deal. He still has a year on his contract beyond this summer. If he does put pen to paper and extend it for another two years, he would be doing a massive favour to the current board who are hanging on to power by their fingertips. Right now there is no reason why he would want to do that.

He doesn't need the extra money they might try to throw at him. And if he signed, he would effectively be endorsing them amid pressure for them to call new elections. As things stand, he does not want to do that.

At the Nou Camp on Saturday, president Josep Maria Bartomeu faced calls to resign for the second home game in succession. The white handkerchiefs came out as he took his seat and signs reading 'elections now' were held aloft by supporters. 

At the end of the game there were more white hankies and supporters chanted: 'Bartomeu resign'. Against that backdrop the idea that Messi is about to pledge allegiance is wishful thinking.

Messi had hoped to be reunited with Neymar last summer but a deal could not be done

Messi had hoped to be reunited with Neymar last summer but a deal could not be done 

A fan holds a banner telling Barca's board to 'fold' during Saturday's win over Real Sociedad

A fan holds a banner telling Barca's board to 'fold' during Saturday's win over Real Sociedad

MESSI IN 2019-20 

Appearances: 31

Goals: 24

Assists: 16 

For all that Bartomeu might be juggling figures to see how he can snag Messi for two more campaigns, and for all that the relationship between Messi's father Jorge and Bartomeu remains fluid and amicable, this Barcelona board is in limbo and Messi is not likely to click his fingers any time soon to snap them out of it.

Renewing Messi's contract has never been straightforward despite the player knowing that he has never really wanted to be anywhere else.

It was Bartomeu who negotiated the last one with Messi's father Jorge in the summer of 2017.

Like all presidents who have renewed Messi's deal, he wanted to show off his prize catch but the Argentine was having none of it. He had more important business that summer, like getting married to Antonella Roccuzzo in their home town of Rosario.

Relations were not particularly healthy at the time between the player and the president and in the end Messi made the board wait for their picture. Three months after basic agreements had been signed, he agreed to do the photo opportunity and the ceremonial

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