Messi close to agreeing new Barcelona deal: reports
FC Barcelona is on the verge of an agreement with Lionel Messi for the Argentinian to remain at the club for a further five years, according to stories published in the Spanish media.
Messi is currently a free agent after his contract with the club expired on June 30, with talks over a new deal dragging on.
The main problem with the negotiations was finding a solution that would keep Messi at the club, while ensuring his wages would not breach requirements imposed on Barcelona by La Liga.
That conundrum looks now to have been solved with Messi agreeing to a new five-year contract with wage cut of around 50 percent on his previous deal. The player has reportedly accepted a net income reported to be in the region of 20 million euros (23.7 million US dollars) a year, plus a bonus for agreeing to put pen to paper.
Leo Messi could stay at FC Barcelona for another five years.
The length of the contract is surprising given that Messi is 34 years old, but there is also the chance the deal will include a clause allowing him to leave Barca after two or three years.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta will view the agreement as an important personal success after replacing Josep Maria Bartomeu at the helm of the club in March with a promise to keep Messi at the club, after the Argentinian had publicly said he wanted to leave last summer.
Messi is currently on holiday after leading Argentina to victory in the recent Copa America tournament, but media speculation suggests the new contract will be made public before the end of the week.