Barcelona Transfer News: Lionel Messi Contract, Latest Rumours on Marco Verratti

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistMay 13, 2017

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 06:  Lionel Messi of Barcelona celebrates after scoring the second goal during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Villarreal CF at Camp Nou Stadium on May 6, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by fotopress/Getty Images)
fotopress/Getty Images

Barcelona club spokesman Josep Vives has said Lionel Messi is set to pen a new contract extension with the Camp Nou giants.

According to Spanish newspaper Sport (h/t Liam Spence of the Express), Vives declared the Argentina icon is close to agreeing a deal, with his current contract set to expire in 2018.

Vives said: "The renewal is very close and we hope to announce it soon, without further pressure."

The spokesman also confirmed Barca have made no decision on who will be Messi's manager next term, with current boss Luis Enrique set to depart in the coming weeks.

Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

According to TV3 show El Club de la Mitjanit (h/t The Sun's Andrew Richardson), Messi could earn £485,000 per week if he stays in Catalonia, rejecting potential moves to Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and teams in the Chinese Super League.

Despite Barca's lack of recent success in the UEFA Champions League (their last title was in 2015), Messi has continued to perform wonders at the highest level, scoring 46 goals in La Liga and Europe this term, according to WhoScored.com.

In other news, Marco Verratti is set to snub the Blaugrana and sign for Real Madrid if he opts to leave Paris Saint-Germain.

PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 06:  Marco Verratti of Paris Saint-Germain reacts during warmup before the Ligue 1 match between Paris Saint-Germain and Bastia at Parc des Princes on May 6, 2017 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)
Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images

Spanish outlet Diario Gol (h/t Jack Otway of the Express) reported the Italy international would prefer to arrive in the capital city as the player believes "Real are building a young and exciting team."

The 24-year-old has won four consecutive Ligue 1 titles with PSG and is ready to take the next step in his career progression.

According to Mundo Deportivo (h/t Football Italia), Blaugrana representatives met with Verratti's agent, Donato Di Campli, when Barca beat PSG 6-1 in the UEFA Champions League in March and again when they hosted Juventus earlier in April.

However, it appears the discussions may now have been in vain as Verratti desires a switch to Los Blancos.

Here is the player in action:

Securing Messi is vital to Barca's next coach, and the foundations of success will once again be built around the forward's skill and leadership.

The Camp Nou giants are about to enter a period of transition as a new manager injects fresh approach into the squad, but it is vital Messi is happy and accepting of the new setup at his club.

Messi remains a unique player, wielding incredible individual powers compared to his team-mates and peers.

A new deal should kill any potential rumours suggesting an exit for the attacking genius.

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