Football

Messi is concentrating on Copa America..

Barcelona open talks with Leo Messi over new contract

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Barcelona have opened contract talks with Lionel Messi in an effort to tie him down to the club for the rest of his career, according to The Sun.

The 28-year-old still has two years remaining on his current £300,000-a-week deal but Nou Camp officials are concerned he could be coaxed to England by the riches of the Premier League.

They sat idly by while Manchester City and Chelsea made loose enquiries at one point or another over the last 18 months with the former reportedly offering him a stunning £800,000-a-week contract.

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Pep Guardiola's arrival at the Etihad was seen as the perfect chance to try and bag the world's best player, who retains a strong relationship with the former Barcelona coach. However, the trail seemed to go cold and Guardiola has focussed his efforts on other targets.

But Barcelona are still fretting about the possibility of losing the jewel in their crown and want this new contract to be the last he signs. The report claims Barcelona will offer him a six-year deal, taking him all the way to his 35th birthday.

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Happy in Spain

The same report claims Messi is content in Barcelona and is happy to sign a contract that will see him spend the rest of his peak in La Liga. However, as he is currently on international duty with Argentina, he is in no rush to enter talks.

Argentina are amongst the favourites to win the Copa America Centenario, currently being contested in the United States and Messi is desperate to win his first major trophy with his country.

Indeed, the lack of success with Argentina has been the biggest thing missing from Messi's CV, which includes five Ballon d'Or titles and myriad records. The result means an agreement between the player and the club is unlikely to be reached anytime before pre-season.

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Neymar deal

Pu until now, Barcelona had been concentrating their efforts on securing the future of Neymar, who has a precariously low release clause of €190million. It was reported that Manchester United actually met the clause last summer and only the player's commitment to Barcelona kept him from leaving.

Although the world is still waiting for official confirmation, it was reported in February that a five-year deal with a much bigger release clause had been agreed in principle.

Neymar had been linked with a move to PSG and, more worryingly, Real Madrid, both of whom were reportedly prepared to meet the clause. However, the new contract will see an unrealistic clause activated and keep the Brazilian at Barcelona until 2021.

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Topics:
Barcelona
La Liga
Gerard Pique
Football
Neymar
Lionel Messi

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