Lionel Messi has turned down Barcelona’s offer of a new contract worth between £25m-30m a year, according to Spanish newspaper AS.
The Argentine superstar’s contract at the Nou Camp expires in June 2018 and discussions over a new deal have been ongoing for months.
Talks between Messi’s father and agent, Jorge, and the club president Josep Maria Bartomeu have yet to yield an agreement for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s future.
But despite the initial contract rejection, AS report that a deal is still likely to be struck over the coming weeks.
Negotiations are very much still ongoing and there is an expectation that the two parties will find common ground eventually to seal a new deal.
Messi expects to receive an improved offer from Barcelona and is prepared to hold out – especially given the recent contracts given to team-mates Luis Suarez and Neymar.
The Argentine, who has four goals in his last three matches, is therefore happy to wait before tying his future down at the Catalan club.
Barcelona are currently level on points with Real Madrid in La Liga, having played a match more than their rivals.
They face Villarreal at home on Saturday evening a couple of hours before Real Madrid travel to relegation-threatened Granada.