Lionel Messi set to sign Barcelona contract extension

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 Lionel Messi is set to sign a contract extension at Barcelona, according to

The Argentina international is reportedly ready to sign a new deal, tying him to the club until 2018. The news comes a day after Xavi Hernandez put pen to paper on a new two-year contract extension, and one week after club captain Carles Puyol signed a two-year extension of his own.

Barcelona president Sandro Rosell announced the imminent contract renewal, going on to reveal that the club have never had any offers or bids for the 25-year-old - not that they'd be likely to consider them, however.

Rosell said: "The club have never received any offers for Messi. I'm sure if he has had them, he dismissed them."

The four-time Ballon d'Or winner scored four goals on Sunday, as Barcelona extended their lead over Atletico Madrid at the top of the La Liga table to 11 points, with a comfortable 5-1 victory over Osasuna.

With another four-goal haul at the weekend, Messi's goalscoring exploits seemingly get more unbelievable by the week - his latest quartet taking his tally for the season to 33 from 21 league games. His nearest challenger - Cristiano Ronaldo - has 21 goals at an impressive goal-a-game rate.

The La Masia academy graduate is one of many home-grown players at the Nou Camp, and Rosell is hopeful the signing of Messi with convince another, Victor Valdes, to put pen to paper on a new deal.

The Spain shot-stopper has been linked with a move away from the club, after reportedly refusing to sign a contract extension.

But the Barca president remains hopeful that Vales will change his mind.

"He said he wanted to quit Barca," said Rosell. "Don't rule anything out. I still hope he will change his mind."


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