Lionel Messi 'not allowed' to train with FC Barcelona

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While his contract situation with FC Barcelona remains up in the air, Lionel Messi is reportedly not allowed to train with the club.

Reports last week suggested that the Blaugrana were hoping that the Argentine superstar would have signed a new deal by now, with the club understood to be readying to make an announcement in this regard by today, 2 August, before the 34-year-old returns for pre-season training.

However, no new contract between Barcelona and Messi has been announced.

The player has now been a free agent for a month, but according to Spanish publication AS, the six-time Ballon d'Or winner will not be allowed to train with Barca until his new contract is finalised, and the player has since extended his holday after winning the 2021 Copa America with Argentina.

It is understood that the LaLiga giants' financial struggles are largely to blame for this pending situation, with the club having to take further steps to alleviate their bloated wage bill before they can confirm a new deal for Messi, and register new signings Sergio Aguero, Memphis Depay, Eric Garcia and Emerson Royal.

Read: Barca 'set date' for Messi contract

According to Forbes, Barcelona president Joan Laporta made an attempt last Friday to reassure those concerned that Messi's contract renewal is not coming along as planned.

"Everything is going well as planned. Everything is progressing properly, everything is going well," he said.

While past reports suggested that the club is looking to offload the likes of Antoine Griezmann, Miralem Pjanic and Samuel Umtiti, nothing close to that has occurred so far; in fact, all three of those stars have featured for Barca in pre-season friendlies over the past few days.

Scroll through the gallery below to see Barca's new away kit