Why Barcelona taking so long to re-sign Lionel Messi is all down to Neymar

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Lionel Messi has finally extended his stay at Barcelona with a new contract signing him on until 2021.

It quells rather speculative transfer talk that had linked the Argentine to the likes of Manchester City with his previous deal at the Nou Camp set to expire in the summer. The rumour mill can finally grind to a halt now.

Perhaps the most notable detail of Messi's new contract at the club proved his astonishing buy-out clause that will almost certainly deter any aspiring suitors.

Barcelona slapped the 30-year-old with a mind-boggling €700 million buy-out clause and yes, you did read that right.

It comes in a season where Real Madrid have been re-signing their players like contract renewals are going out of fashion and Los Blancos have been adopting a similar tactic. 

Marco Asensio signed a new deal at the Bernabeu this season and despite being just 21-years-old had a monstrous £441 million buy-out clause to his name. Meanwhile, Dani Carvajal's price was named at €350 million - a new high for full-backs and defenders in general.

Such is the paranoia of the big clubs when it comes to keeping their star players and keeping an eye on inflation in the transfer market, that it's simply better safe than sorry.

So in the case of a five-time Ballon d'Or winner such as Messi, it's perhaps no surprise that the figure lies in astronomical territory.

Furthermore, it's that mind-boggling buy-out clause and a certain Neymar that was behind the huge delay on Messi re-signing, according to Sport.

Barcelona were ready to offer their star man a contract with a buy-out clause of €300 million only for Neymar's departure from the Nou Camp to completely change the game.

When the Brazilian put pen to paper on a move to the Parc des Princes, it not only shattered the world transfer record but doubled it.

As a result, Barcelona hesitated in a delay that would fire up transfer rumours before eventually settling on a revised figure of €700 million.

Messi and Neymar stay in regular contact and remain close friends with this proving another unique example through which the latter continues to influence the former.

It's certainly perceivable that Neymar's decision to flee Barcelona will change the transfer market for good and fees will continue to soar out of control.

Surely, though, nobody would cough up €700 million, right? Right?

Do you think Lionel Messi is the greatest of all time? Have your say in the comments section below.

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