Barcelona have handed Lionel Messi a new contract, tying the Argentinian wizard to the club for four more years and pumping his weekly wage up to an eye-watering £500,000.
Messi had left Barca supporters nervously trying to read the signs coming out of his camp as his current deal was allowed to run down to June 2018.
But that wait is finally over with the player ready to tie his future to the club he joined as a 13-year-old. The new contract will run until 2021, with the option of an extra year
The deal will include a buy-out clause of around £264m – enough to put off any potential suitors.
The 30-year-old all-time club-record goalscorer has been linked to the Premier League with last year’s tax evasion case almost sending him into the arms of Manchester City but Barcelona have renewed vows with their greatest-ever player.
Messi got married to long-term partner Antonella Roccuzzo last Friday and he is still on honeymoon in the Caribbean but when he returns to training next week he will sign his new deal.
His new net salary will go up to £26.4m per season, putting him on over £500,000 per week.
A club statement read: ‘FC Barcelona and Leo Messi have agreed on a contract renewal that will keep the Argentinian at the club until June 30th, 2021.
‘The deal will be signed in the coming weeks, when Messi returns to the team for pre-season training.
‘The club is very happy with both the renewal and the commitment of Messi, the best player in history, who has played his full professional career at Barca and has led the team to an era of extraordinary success, the likes of which has never been seen in world football.’
Messi will be 34 in June 2022 when the deal ends if he takes up the extra year. That optional season will not be subject to him playing a certain amount of games the season before.
And the Argentine will be able to top up his earnings by around 20 per cent in total if he meets various targets such as winning La Liga, the Champions League and Ballon d’Or.
He will also receive a huge undisclosed signing-on fee, believed to be in excess of £23.2m.
MESSI AT BARCELONA
La Liga titles x 8, Copa del Rey x 5, Champions League x 4, Spanish Super Cup x 6, UEFA Super Cup x 3, Club World Cup x 3.
Total games: 583. Goals: 507
MESSI’S NEW DEAL – THE BIG FIGURES
Yearly salary: £26.4m
Weekly wage: £500,000
Buy-out clause: £264m
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