Months of speculation have finally come to an end as Barcelona announced on Wednesday that Lionel Messi has agreed a new contract with the club that will keep him at the Camp Nou until 2021.
The record goalscorer, who is currently on his honeymoon, will put pen to paper on a £500,000-a-week deal that runs for another four years when he returns for preseason and if any clubs remain interested in signing the 30-year-old, a new release clause of €250 million will need to be met.
Messi has scored a remarkable 507 goals in 583 matches since making his debut as a teenager in 2004 and the club announced earlier: “The club is very happy with the renewal and commitment of Messi, the best player in history.”
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) July 5, 2017
The statement continued by adding that Messi has “led the team to an era of extraordinary success, the likes of which has never been seen in world football.
“Leo Messi will not stop there – the Argentinian is in one of the best moments of his career and still has a lot more left to give, which is music to the ears of all Barça fans who will get to continue marvelling at his greatness for at least another four years.”
With a year left on his current deal, transfer talk had naturally followed, with Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City the most heavily linked. However, Barcelona have swiftly put an end to that and Messi will now look to continue at the Catalan giants until he is 34.
This may well be the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s last contract with Barcelona before either retirement or perhaps a return to Argentina and a swansong with Newell’s Old Boys.