Barcelona’s terrible finances could stop Lionel Messi from playing until 2022, despite him taking a $305,000-a-week pay cut

Lionel Messi puts his head in his hand during a Barcelona match
Messi could be without a club until 2022 David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Lionel Messi‘s future is once more in question as Barcelona struggles to free up enough wages to re-register him to the team, and it could mean he cannot play until next year.

Earlier this month, Messi reportedly agreed to a $US305,000 ($AU413,229)-per-week pay cut to stay at the club he has been at since he was 13, but he is still not registered to play for the club due to financial regulations.

ESPN reports that if no solution is found, Barcelona would be unable to register Messi until January 2022.

Additionally, Barcelona would be unable to add new signings Memphis Depay, Sergio Aguero, Eric Garcia and Emerson Royal to its squad.

The Catalan club is desperately trying to reduce its wage bill so that it can comply with strict La Liga financial fair play rules but as of yet has been unable to offload some of its highest earners.

If Messi’s new contract is signed, it would make French star Antoine Griezmann the highest paid player at the club but reports suggest Barcelona is looking to sell the player they bought for 120 million euros ($US141 ($AU191) million) just two years ago.

Griezmann, who joined Barcelona from Atlético Madrid, is reportedly unwilling to move to the Premier League and is keen for a move back to his former club, but no agreement has yet been reached.

According to ESPN, the Frenchman is refusing to take any cut to his 35 million euro-per-year salary and Barcelona may be forced to supplement his wages should he move. The Catalans did similar with Luis Suárez, who had part of his wages paid by Barcelona during the season he won La Liga with Atlético.

Griezmann is not the only high earner Barcelona is currently trying to sell. Philippe Coutinho, who cost 160 million euros ($US188 ($AU255) million) in 2018, is also for sale and the club is trying to negotiate lower value deals for Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba and Sergi Roberto.