FC Barcelona center back Gerard Pique has signed a new four-year contract with the Catalan giants.

Pique became the latest player to commit his future to Barcelona following the likes of Lionel Messi, by signing a long term contract. His previous contract would have expired in 2015 and Barcelona have now confirmed the extension of the old deal.

“Barcelona announce they have reached an agreement with Gerard Pique for the renovation of his contract, which would have finished on June 30, 2015, for the next five seasons.

“The new contract will run until the end of the season 2018/19 season and will be signed in the coming days.” – Read an official statement released by Barcelona.

The Catalan club needed this assurance following the retirement of their former captain Carles Puyol, while there are speculations regarding the future of Javier Mascherano at the club. Barcelona are expected to invest heavily in the summer transfer window as they look to improve on their disappointing campaign last season. A new center back is at the top of the priority list and Gerard Pique is likely to have a new partner at the center of the Barcelona defence next season.

The 27-year-old, Barcelona youth product, joined Manchester United in 2004 and after failing to establish himself at the English club, he returned to the Catalan club in 2008 and established himself in the first team under Pep Guardiola. The Spaniard has faced indifferent form over the past two seasons, something which has coincided with Barcelona looking increasingly vulnerable at the back. But now with the departure of Puyol, Pique will have to step up and take responsibility more responsibility at the back, guiding the likes of Marc Bartra alongside him.