Iniesta done, Messi next? Only Argentine's signature now missing from Barca’s autumn of renewal

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The midfielder signed up for life on Friday in more good news for the Catalan club after a turbulent summer, but there is one more matter to resolve

The calm after the storm at Camp Nou. After a turbulent summer in Barcelona, the Blaugrana are back on course and leading La Liga. Now, with Andres Iniesta having extended his contract on Friday, all that is required to complete an autumn of renewal is the signature of Lionel Messi.

The sale of Neymar in August, couple with the failure to bring in top targets like Marco Verratti and Philippe Coutinho, left fans frustrated. Double defeat to Real Madrid in the Spanish Supercopa was another ominous sign, while Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu was hit with the possibility of a censure motion led by former election hopeful Agusti Benedito.

Messi 7/2 to be CL top scorer

Amid all of that, a terrorist attack in the city centre rocked the club and the violence by Spanish police against Catalan citizens in an attempt to halt Sunday's independence vote brought Barca back into the eye of another whirlwind, as the board decided to play their Liga fixture against Las Palmas behind closed doors.

On the sporting side, however, things have been good. Barca have won all of their competitive matches since the Supercopa: seven in the Primera Division (in which they have scored more and also conceded fewer than any other team) and two in the Champions League (including an impressive 3-0 victory over Juventus).

Iniesta stats Barcelona

Meanwhile, the threat of a censure motion has come and gone, as Benedito failed to secure sufficient signatures in order to force fresh elections. Further good news arrived on Friday as Iniesta penned a new contract with Barca.

Iniesta signed a symbolic "lifetime" deal with the Catalan club, meaning he could finish his career with the team he joined at the age of 12 and with whom he has spent the past 16 seasons as a professional.

"I can't describe my emotions," he said in a press conference on Friday. "I came here as a 12-year-old and I'm still here at 33. 'For life' doesn't mean I'll play here forever but only play two games a season. I'll be the first to know when it's over."

And he added: "I love this club and I will be here until my body and mind know it is time to stop. It is a very special day for me as it allows me to continue dreaming."

Andres Iniesta Barcelona Joan Gamper Trophy 2016

Iniesta had promised that "good news" would arrive soon and the renewal is indeed another positive step for Barcelona - especially after the player contradicted Bartomeu a few weeks ago by saying he knew "nothing" about a new deal when the president had said an agreement was close.

Bartomeu also angered Barca fans over the summer when it emerged that Messi's new contract - which was announced by the club in July - was still lacking the player's signature, leading to speculation that the Argentine attacker may be considering his future or even contemplating an exit when his current deal expires next June.

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However, Iniesta, who has won a 30 trophies in Barca alongside the five-time Ballon d'Or winner, said on Friday: "The club wants Messi to be here, like we all do. And Leo wants to be here. Hopefully, this story never ends!"

All Barcelona fans would like that last line to come true. Obviously, this special story will end at some stage, but with Iniesta signed up for life, all that is missing now is Messi's autumnal renewal.

Over to you, Bartomeu.

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