Reports in Spain suggest that Lionel Messi is close to agreeing a new FC Barcelona deal, which would apparently see him dethrone Cristiano Ronaldo as the highest paid player in Europe.
The Argentine is apparently set to put pen to paper on a new four-year contract that will expire in 2022, according to Marca.
Barcelona reportedly offered the player a €30 million a year deal when club president Josep Maria Bartomeu and the superstar’s father, Jorge Messi, met in April.
The ins and outs of the new contract have not been revealed, but it seems details such as bonus payments and image rights still need to be agreed upon.
A proposed €30 million basic annual salary would make Messi the highest paid player in Europe, beating his rival Ronaldo, who currently has a basic net salary (excluding bonus payments and endorsement deals) of €21 million, according to the latest reports.
Messi’s new deal would only be bettered by Carlos Tevez’s reported €40 million (R595 million) a season mega contract with Shanghai Shenhua in China.
The deal would bind Messi to the Catalan giants until he is 35, with the superstar often stating he would like to finish his career at his boyhood club, Newell’s Old Boys.
Meanwhile, Neymar says it is about time the Blaugrana “get to work” on Lionel Messi’s new contract and he has urged the Catalan club to seal the deal as quickly as possible.
“I have been here with Leo for four years, and I am learning every day: how to strike the ball, how to be alert during matches… Messi is from another planet,” the Brazilian told beIN SPORTS.
“He is an idol and a friend with whom I have the luck to train every day.
“I hope that he renews and that the people at Barca get to work so Leo can continue with us.”
Messi has made 49 appearances in all competitions for Barcelona this season, scoring 51 goals and assisting 18 further strikes.