Lionel Messi is a free agent, but Barcelona president Joan Laporta says contract talks 'on right track'

Joan Laporta, president of Barcelona, is confident that Lionel Messi will remain with the club, despite the fact that the forward's contract ended on Wednesday.The 34-year-old Messi is technically a free agent, with his contract expiring before Barca can finalise terms on a new agreement.Sky Sports News reported last week that the winner of six consecutive Ballon d'Ors was in advanced negotiations for a new contract - which is likely to be for two years.Laporta, who made extending Messi’s contract a priority in March's re-election campaign, said that the Argentine wanted to stay with the Catalan club. However, it is not clear when an official announcement could come."We want Leo to stay, and we want him to stay. Everything is on the right path, the only thing that needs to be resolved is fair play. We are currently trying to find the best solution for both of them," Laporta stated to El Transistor."I would like to be able announce that he is staying, but at the moment, I can't do that because we are still looking for the best solution for both of us."Image: Lionel Messi currently serves as an international representative for Argentina at the Copa AmericaMessi, who is currently playing for Argentina at the Copa America in Argentina, is more than 8,000 km away from Catalonia. His father Jorge Messi, his agent, left Barcelona last week. The exact timing of Messi's potential signing is still unknown.However, recent developments represent a significant turnaround from almost a year ago, when Messi submitted a transfer request believing that he had an agreement that would allow him to leave free of charge.Josep Maria Bartomeu, then president of Barcelona, insisted that he would be subject to a 700m release clause.Bartomeu resigned in October. Messi, however, wanted to hear the plans of Laporta's successor before making a decision about his future.Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City were the top-running clubs that were interested in signing him. Messi wants to play in MLS one day.Sky Sports has the summer transfer window.Follow all the latest news and rumours about transfer in our Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports' digital platforms. You can also keep track of all developments on Sky Sports News.