A transfer for Lionel Messi would be a game-changing twist in world football but any hopes of it happening are dimming ever further with the news that Barcelona are close to agreeing a new contract, according to Marca.

The Argentine striker hasn't quite tied up his future just yet but details are starting to sort themselves out between the two parties.

Key to the negotiations are the player's image rights; Messi doesn't want his club to take any percentage of the earnings.The Catalans initially wanted a 50% cut but they have admitted defeat on that front.

Also, the basic salary was proving to be a moot point. The 26-year-old's demands were around £7 million per season off Barcelona's valuation. That gap is thought to have been halved as the two draw closer to agreement.  

Messi could pocket an astonishing £16 million-a-season, after tax, by staying at the Nou Camp.

Barca chiefs have been forced to back down after suitors monitoring the precarious situation were prepared to pay megabucks for the mercurial striker. Big spending PSG had been linked.

Regarded a one of the greatest players ever in world football, Messi is a four-time winner of the FIFA Ballon d'Or. His run of four consecutive gongs was finally ended by arguably his greatest rival in the game, Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, this year.

In the 2012,  the small star beat Gerd Muller's record for goals in a calendar year. Messi finished with an astonishing 91.

Since joining Barca as a child, the 26-year-old has scored over 350 goals to break the club's goal-scoring record in just over 400 appearances. 

He will look to add to his growing trophy cabinet with a maiden World Cup winners' medal in the summer's Brazil spectacle.

In league action, Messi will continue to fight for a seventh La Liga title. Only three points separate all three of Real Madrid, Athletico Madrid and Messi's men. Champions League success is definitely off the cards though, Athletico ended Gerardo Martino's sides' hopes in midweek. 

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