Lionel Messi is “already playing under” a new contract at Barcelona, club president Josep Maria Bartomeu has revealed.
The Argentine forward, Messi has one year left at the Nou Camp on his current deal, meaning he will be free to discuss a move away from the club in January.
Although it has yet to be officially confirmed – extension talks have been taking place for several months now – Bartomeu has insisted that the player is already playing under the terms of a new deal at the club.
“We will take the photo with Messi’s signature, hopefully before the end of the year, but the contract has been signed by his father, who has the power of his image rights,” Bartomeu told 8TV.
“This contract is signed until 2021 and he is already playing under it.”
Messi, who has spent his entire career at the club, has made a strong start to the new season with Barcelona, scoring eight goals in all competitions for the club.
Andres Iniesta, meanwhile, is another player to have been linked with a move away from Spain, with just one year left on his contract.
But Bartomeu has said he will do everything possible to keep the 33-year-old in Catalonia.
He continued: “The agreement with Iniesta will be special, it will be different just because it is him, I won’t reveal exactly what because it is part of private negotiations, but with Ramon Sostres, we have been talking for a long time.
“Iniesta isn’t just a reference point for us, but also for the young supporters, he has earned the right to play here until he decides not to anymore, Andres is critical to this club and the intention is that this extension will be an indefinite contract so that he can finish whenever he desires.”