Messi ‘makes Haaland sacrifice’ as details of Barcelona contract emerge

Lionel Messi has reportedly agreed to take a pay cut at Barcelona on the condition that the club use the cash saving to fund a bid for Erling Haaland.

The Borussia Dortmund striker is on Barca's radar as they continue their search for a new striker.

Inter Milan's Lautaro Martinez was previously their top target, while there is still talk of Sergio Aguero joining on a free transfer from Manchester City this summer.

But Haaland has jumped to the top of Barca's shortlist amid his impressive performances for Dortmund this season, with Messi keen to link up with the youngster at the Nou Camp.

Messi's own future has been up in the air for months, but he appears to have reneged on his previous plans of leaving the club at the end of the season.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta is said to have tabled an offer of a 10-year contract to the 33-year-old to keep him at the club – but with the caveat that his wages will be slashed in half.

The Argentine forward is by far and away Barca's highest earner, raking in around £500,000 per week in basic salary alone, with incentives and bonus payments almost doubling it.

Given his age and Barcelona's crippling financial problems, a similar agreement is not possible for Messi, but according to EuroSport, he has told Laporta he is happy to accept a smaller salary if the club show ambition by launching a bid for Haaland.

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Laporta is confident a deal can be done after holding initial talks with Mino Raiola as part of the agent's whistle-stop tour round Europe recently, with Haaland's father Alfe-Inge in tow.

Even so, funding a move for Haaland this summer is still likely to prove difficult for Barcelona, who have been largely focusing their efforts on recruiting players on free transfers due to their finances.

Messi wants the club to be in a position to challenge for the Champions League next season, but Haaland's release clause does not come into play until summer 2022.

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