It's been confirmed that Lionel Messi will be staying on at Barcelona for another five years and he's agreed to have his wages cut in half - but why?
Earlier this month, the 34-year-old won his first major international trophy after leading Argentina to the Copa America title with a 1-0 win in the final against Brazil. It was also the Argentine's first win for his home country.
It's been long understood that Messi would probably stay on at Barcelona, a club which has had him on the books for more than 20 years and Messi has won six Ballon d'Ors for.
Messi has only come to a verbal agreement with the club at the moment and an announcement about the new deal isn't expected until the end of July.
Messi's previous contract with Barcelona, which lapsed at midnight on 1st July, was reportedly worth a staggering £476m over four years - that's an eye-watering £119m per season.
In addition to that, his signing-on fee was £99m alone, with a further £67m due as a loyalty bonus.
Messi will be taking a 50 per cent pay cut in the new contract to stay on at Barcelona for the next five years. So that's £238m, which is roughly £60m per season, if we halve his last reported earnings from the club.
The contract release clause will be set at €350m (£300m).
Lionel Messi will stay at Barcelona, it's never been in doubt and gonna be announced soon. :large_blue_circle::red_circle: #FCB
PSG never had any real chance this summer. NO talks. Only Barça for Leo. :x:
New contract will be until June 2026 instead of 2023 to help the club - as @ferrancorreas reported.
- Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 14, 2021
Spanish news outlet SPORT said Messi understands the club's financial difficulties and that a wage cut is necessary to set an example as the team captain.
It was previously reported that other La Liga clubs would help Barca to pay Messi's huge wages, because Messi is too valuable for the league to lose.
If Messi does sign along the dotted line, it's likely Antoine Griezmann will be sold to another club in order to afford Messi.
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