Messi close to new Barcelona contract which will make him the world's best-paid player
Lionel Messi is close to agreeing a new contract with Barcelona that will keep him at the Catalan club for four more years, with the option of one more.
The Argentine attacker, who turned 30 on Saturday, is currently in his homeland where he will marry childhood sweetheart and longtime partner Antonella Roccuzzo later this week.
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An agreement is in place with Barca to extend his current contract, which expires in 2018, and once the final details are finalised, it should be signed in July when the five-time Ballon d'Or winner returns to Spain.
Lawyers representing the club and also the player have met to draw up a contract, but Barca were keen to wait until July in order for the costs to be included in the budget for next season.
Negotiations are in their final stages, with only minor matters to be finalised. The new agreement could well be the player's final contract at Camp Nou and will take him up to 2021 (when he will turn 34), with the option of one further season.
Messi, who has won 30 trophies in his 13 seasons in the first team at Barca and scored 507 goals for the Catalan club, will earn in excess of €22 million after tax, making him the world's best-paid footballer.
"I am taking care of the matter personally and we will do things properly," Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu said in January. "I am speaking to his father. There is no rush."
A series of meetings have taken place with Jorge Messi and everything is now in place for the new deal to be signed this summer, which will represent a big boost for new coach Ernesto Valverde.
"Every day he surprises you. He is the undisputed best player in the world and I am excited about coaching him," the new Barca boss said of the Argentine earlier this month.
Valverde and Messi kick off the new season with two Clasico clashes against Real Madrid in the Spanish Supercopa series in August, with La Liga also underway later in the month.