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Messi agrees contract extension with Barcelona

Messi, 34, would surely end his career with Barcelona and his release clause would be a prohibitive 600 million euros in the meantime
FILED - 10 March 2018, England, London: Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates scoring his side's third goal during the UEFA Champions League Group B soccer match between Tottenham Hotspur and Barcelona at Wembley Stadium. Messi has communicated to Barcelona via fax that he wants to leave the club on a free transfer this summer, according to media reports in Spain. Photo: Nick Potts/dpa.
Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates scoring. Photo: Nick Potts/dpa/File photo.

Argentine superstar Lionel Messi has agreed a new five-year contract with Barcelona according to a report Wednesday in the Catalan sports paper Esportiu.

Barcelona hope to confirm the deal this week, the paper reported without citing its source.

Messi, 34, would surely end his career with Barcelona should the contract be agreed as he would be 39 when it expires - and his release clause would be a prohibitive 600 million euros (709.2 million dollars) in the meantime.

Currently out of contract, Messi has been with Barca since he was 13 and is widely recognized as one of the greatest-ever players.

He won his first international trophy last weekend when Argentina defeated Brazil to lift the Copa America for the first time since 1993.

Wage cut

Messi had previously announced he wanted to leave Barcelona but the club successfully fought to keep him and former president Joan Laporta returning to replace Josep Maria Bartomeu is thought to have helped convince him to remain now.

Barcelona are stretched financially and it is believed Messi will have taken a cut to his considerable wages to stay. He has played 778 games, scored 672 goals and won 35 titles with the club so far.

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