Lionel Messi is set to extend his Barcelona contract until 2021, with his release clause rising to a massive £350million.
The Barca legend’s current deal is set to run out in 2018, but he has signaled his intent to remain a further three years.
The deal will see him earn around £500,000-a-week after tax, a huge pay rise which takes him above Cristiano Ronaldo as the highest-paid player in Europe.
By the time the deal runs out Messi, who has been at Barcelona since he was 13, will be 34, signalling his intent to see out his career at the Catalan club.
He is expected to sign the deal at the end of this month, according to reports on Spanish radio.
The dramatic pay increase – Messi is currently on £365,000-a-week, and will receive an increase of 37% – suggests that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner will remain a crucial part of Barca’s plans under new coach Ernesto Valverde.
He was La Liga’s top scorer last season with 37 goals in 34 games, bagging 54 games in all competitions, despite Barcelona’s somewhat disappointing season, as they finished second behind Real Madrid and went out of the Champions League in the quarter finals to Juventus.
Messi did help his club to a Copa del Rey success, the fifth of his career with the club, but he will want to add to his eight leagues and four Champions Leagues over the next five years.
Earlier this week Messi had claimed he wanted to remain at the club for the rest of his career.
‘It’s what I always wanted and dreamed. I would love to finish my career at Barcelona,’ he told Tencent Sports.
The Argentine star is currently in Australia on international duty in Australia, where his side will take on Brazil in a friendly.
Culled from Mail