Exclusive: Lionel Messi will renew Barcelona contract as deal inches closer

The player and the club are in an advanced phase of negotiations

Only a few side-issues are in the way of total agreement and he will likely sign at the end of the season

Albert Masnou

Lionel Messi will renew his contract with FC Barcelona. SPORT can confirm that the Argentine forward is close to prolonging his Camp Nou stay after conversations between the club’s board and his father advanced, within the parameters set by the two parties.

In the middle of January Josep Maria Bartomeu and Jorge Messi sat down to work. Nearly four months later, their positions are very close.

With Jorge Messi in Barcelona in the last few days the conversations have advanced hugely, to the point that optimism bounds within the club, on the verge of great news.

A show of that was Jordi Mestre’s comments after the game against Villarreal, when he said “the renovation looks good, it’s on track, hitting the home straight”. 

Total silence

Until now Bartomeu has been working in silence with the father of the player but now there is light at the end of the tunnel. There is confidence between both parts, it has been more a dialogue of intentions than a game of accepted or unaccepted proposals.

In these moments “there are a few important side issues to be agreed” before a deal is reached for Messi to sign on for five more seasons. Although it has advanced a lot, nobody is putting a firm date on the day he will sign. “A question of weeks,” said Mestre.

A minor break in negotiations is expected when Jorge Messi leaves Barcelona this week. 

One of the reasons is that Messi doesn’t want the deal to be announced while the team are immersed in the fight for La Liga and the Copa del Rey. 

A scenario being considered is that the deal is announced once the season ends, with Messi and Bartomeu signing it at the start of the pre-season.

In a conversation with Bartomeu, Messi made it clear that his priority was to continue at Barcelona. And it will always be like that, assuming the matters left to resolve do not open any unexpected crisis. 

Messi’s current deal ends in 2018 and it’s an important new contract because at 29 years old, it may be his final deal as a Barcelona player. He will keep wearing Blaugrana. His priority has always been titles.

Lionel Messi will renew his contract with FC Barcelona. SPORT can confirm that the Argentine forward is close to prolonging his Camp Nou stay after conversations between the club’s board and his father advanced, within the parameters set by the two parties.

In the middle of January Josep Maria Bartomeu and Jorge Messi sat down to work. Nearly four months later, their positions are very close.

With Jorge Messi in Barcelona in the last few days the conversations have advanced hugely, to the point that optimism bounds within the club, on the verge of great news.

A show of that was Jordi Mestre’s comments after the game against Villarreal, when he said “the renovation looks good, it’s on track, hitting the home straight”. 

Until now Bartomeu has been working in silence with the father of the player but now there is light at the end of the tunnel. There is confidence between both parts, it has been more a dialogue of intentions than a game of accepted or unaccepted proposals.

In these moments “there are a few important side issues to be agreed” before a deal is reached for Messi to sign on for five more seasons. Although it has advanced a lot, nobody is putting a firm date on the day he will sign. “A question of weeks,” said Mestre.

A minor break in negotiations is expected when Jorge Messi leaves Barcelona this week. 

One of the reasons is that Messi doesn’t want the deal to be announced while the team are immersed in the fight for La Liga and the Copa del Rey. 

A scenario being considered is that the deal is announced once the season ends, with Messi and Bartomeu signing it at the start of the pre-season.

In a conversation with Bartomeu, Messi made it clear that his priority was to continue at Barcelona. And it will always be like that, assuming the matters left to resolve do not open any unexpected crisis. 

Messi’s current deal ends in 2018 and it’s an important new contract because at 29 years old, it may be his final deal as a Barcelona player. He will keep wearing Blaugrana. His priority has always been titles.

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