Barcelona and Lionel Messi are set to enter negotiations over a new contract worth £175 million that would see him stay at the club till the end of his career.
Barcelona are set to offer club captain and star player Lionel Messi a a new bumper contract worth £175 million to keep him at Camp Nou till the end of his career, club president Josep Maria Bartomeu has revealed, as reported by The Sun.
One of the greatest players to have ever played the game, Messi made his first-team debut for Barcelona back in 2004 and has gone onto make 677 appearances for the Catalan outfit, netting a mind-boggling 595 goals, while assisting 238 more.
A 9-time La Liga champion and a 4-time UEFA Champions League winner with Barcelona, the 31-year old Messi is contracted to the club till 2021, having penned a new deal back in November 2017. As per the report, the Argentine forward makes £500,000-a-week, which totals up to a whopping £26 million per year.
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has now claimed that the club intend to keep him at the club till the end of his career and are keen on renewing his contract. Speaking to ESPN (h/t The Sun), he said: “We want him to have a really long career so we can keep on enjoying him. Lionel’s managed to break down borders. Everyone admires him and he’s applauded at other stadiums by rival fans.
“We would like to renew his contract, that’s the idea. He is young – you can see that [in his performances] – and he still has two years on his deal. He’s always improving, always innovating. I believe he still has many years in front of him and in the coming months we will sit down with him so that he has many more years at Barcelona.
“Messi is a one-club man. It’s more than what he does on the pitch – his relationship with Barca will last forever. I use the example of Pele, who was always at Santos. We want Messi to always be at Barca, whether that’s playing or linked to the club [when he’s retired].”
The report adds that Barcelona are likely to offer their superstar forward another five-year contract and should it be on similar terms as his current deal, Messi would pocket £130 million. Plus, there is also likely to be a signing-on bonus £45 million – the same amount that he was given the last time he had put pen to a new contract, bringing the total of the entire package to £175 million.
Messi has been in unstoppable form in the 2018-19 campaign. So far, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has netted 43 times in 60 matches in all competitions and looks destined to pick up his tenth La Liga winners’ medal.
While Messi has said in the past that he would like to play for Newell’s Old Boys in Argentina before he hangs up his boots, he is very much expected to sign a new contract with Barcelona. It is only a matter of time before the superstar pens a new deal with the Catalans.