Barcelona have confirmed Lionel Messi is to sign a new long-term contract that will keep him at Camp Nou until 2021.
The Argentine superstar, who tuned 30 last month, has less than a year remaining on his current deal but has committed his long-term future to the Catalan giants.
‘The deal will be signed in the coming weeks, when Messi returns to the team for pre-season training,’ said a statement on the club website.
‘The club is very happy with both the renewal and the commitment of Messi, the best player in history, who has played his full professional career at Barça and has led the team to an era of extraordinary success, the likes of which has never been seen in world football.’
Lionel Messi’s New Deal | The numbers
Yearly salary: £26.4m
Weekly wage: £500,000
Buy-out clause: £264m
Messi’s decision to renew represents a welcome boost for new Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde who can now set about strengthening a team which surrendered domestic dominance to Real Madrid last season and were knocked out of the Champions League at the quarter final stage.
Barcelona have included an eye-watering €300million (£263m) release clause in Messi’s new contract which will deter his suitors, including the likes of Manchester City.
The Premier League giants had been touted as the most realistic destination for Messi given they are coached by his former mentor at Barcelona Pep Guardiola.
But last month, City’s chief executive Ferran Soriano admitted his efforts to land the Argentine were futile.
When asked if City had a chance of signing Messi, Soriano told Xinhua last month: ‘No. I don’t think so.
‘I know Messi very well. He and his family are my good friends.
‘At least next year, maybe he can finish that career. After that he can go to China or US, but now I think he will stay in Barcelona.’
Messi is currently on his honeymoon after getting married to Antonella Roccuzzo last Friday but he will sign his new contract when he returns next week for pre-season training.