Barcelona expect to confirm Messi contract renewal soon

Lionel Messi Barcelona LaLiga 050617
The Argentine has been expected to extend his current deal at Camp Nou beyond 2018 and club spokesman Josep Vives insists it's just a matter of time

Lionel Messi will sign a new contract with Barcelona in the near future, according to club spokesman Josep Vives.

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The 29-year-old Argentine's future has been the subject of speculation recently as his current deal expires in June 2018.

Messi has suggested he could end his playing career at Newell's Old Boys, the club he supported and played for as a youth before making the move to Barca, where he has spent most of his life.

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Despite the delay in agreeing on new terms, the Catalans have remained confident of keeping the five-time Ballon d'Or winner, with vice-president Jordi Mestre saying last week that "everything looks good"

And Vives has reiterated that claim and believes that the situation will be clarified very soon.

"The renewal is very close and we hope to announce it soon, without further pressure," he told Sport.

There is a greater uncertainty facing Barca in the form of their coach. Luis Enrique has already confirmed he will leave at the end of the season and it is not yet known who will replace him.

"We are not rushing to announce a coach," he added. "We are at a crucial moment of the season and we have to be focused on the team to feel our support. There is no hurry or urgency to establish a date."

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Although they were eliminated from the Champions League by Juventus, Barca could finish the season with a Liga and Copa del Rey double and add to an incredible trophy haul in recent years.

"Since the season 2003-04, we have won 29 titles of a possible 57, which is 50.8%," Vives added. "We have won eight leagues and four Champions League crowns. In this same period, Real Madrid won 13 trophies, including two Champions Leagues and three La Liga titles.

"It would be a mistake to carry out an analysis based on comparing us with other teams, we will take stock in all areas, we will not do it against Real Madrid or another club."