Barcelona have announced that superstar Lionel Messi has agreed a new four-year deal with the club worth a reported £500,000 per week that will keep him at the Camp Nou until 2021.
The news was confirmed on Wednesday:
Sky Sports News HQ's Kaveh Solhekol provided details of the contract including Messi's release clause, which is set at €300 million (£263 million):
According to Toni Frieros of Sport, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner will also receive a €50 million (£43.8 million) "renewal premium."
The Argentinian's previous deal—penned in May of 2014—was set to expire next summer, and Barca have been attempting to tie him to extended terms for some time, per Moises Llorens in AS.
Per The Sun's Dave Fraser, team-mate Neymar said after Barca's improbable 6-1 UEFA Champions League victory over Paris Saint-Germain back in March that "Messi will renew, for sure," and he has been proved correct, to the relief of all involved at the Camp Nou.
There were concerns after Barca were knocked out of Europe's top-tier competition by Juventus he could be on his way out, per Spanish football writer Rafael Hernandez:
Messi's continued presence at Barcelona can only be good news for the Catalans, as the 30-year-old is their most important player.
It is not only the ridiculous number of goals he contributes to the side that makes him so valuable—in the last eight La Liga seasons, he has netted 294 times for the club, per WhoScored.com—he also acts as the focal point for the whole system and allows Barca's other star players, such as Neymar and Luis Suarez, to thrive.
Messi joined Barcelona's La Masia academy as a 13-year-old, and his latest commitment to the club suggests he may be set to spend his entire career with the Blaugrana.
Per Stuart Brennan in the Manchester Evening News, he has previously been speculatively linked with a move away from the Camp Nou, but having signed his latest deal, rumours of his departure should die down for now.