Representatives of Barcelona star Lionel Messi have proposed a new annual salary for their client of €25m net for the next five seasons.
That, according to Spanish newspaper AS, equates to €50m-a-year gross - taking the deal’s total value to an astronomical €250m.
Messi and his advisors reportedly believe that Barcelona made Neymar the highest-paid player at the Camp Nou when he arrived at the club from Santos last summer. While the Catalan giants may dispute this, it’s believed that Neymar is earning in the region of €18-20m net per year.
On the other hand, Messi currently earns €16m-a-year net, and the Argentina international wants Barcelona to show just how much they want to keep him by making him the world’s highest-paid player.
Barcelona, however, are in no rush to renew Messi’s deal. The 26-year-old is contracted to the club until 2018 after agreeing a new deal with the reigning La Liga champions last February.
But, with doubts concerning Messi’s current motivation, Barcelona may agree to negotiate the figures and come to a new agreement to ensure he overtakes Neymar as the club’s highest-paid player - and subsequently rediscovers his best form.
The four-time Ballon d’Or winner has still scored 31 goals in 33 matches this season, but many in Spain have asked questions about Messi’s current mentality over recent months. There have even been suggestions that the player is considering leave the Camp Nou this summer.
Just last week, Punto Pelota reporter François Gallardo revealed that Messi feels betrayed by Barcelona and will join Paris Saint-Germain, who are willing to pay whatever it costs to sign arguably the best footballer of all time.