FC Barcelona v SD Huesca – Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain – March 15, 2021 Barcelona’s Lionel Messi celebrates scoring their fourth goal [Reuters, Albert Gea]

Lionel Messi is set to end speculation over his future by putting pen to paper on a new contract to keep him at the Nou Camp for another two years.

The Argentinean stunned the world of football last summer by demanding a transfer away from the club where he has spent his whole professional career.

And with his contract set to expire next month there had been rumours that he could yet make a move to the likes of Manchester City or PSG.

But according to a number of reports in Spain Messi now appears set to sign a new deal in news that will come as a huge relief to fans of the club who worship the six-time Ballon d’Or winner.

The news comes just a day after Messi’s long-term friend Sergio Aguero signed for the club – a transfer which is believed to have had a huge bearing on the player deciding to stay.

Aguero himself was asked about Messi’s future at his presentation ceremony, and said: “Let’s hope we can play together, of course.

“As president [Joan] Laporta said, we’ve been negotiating for a long time and whatever happens with Leo will be his decision along with the club.

“Obviously, it would be a pleasure and it would make me very proud to play together. I’ve played with him in the [Argentina] national team since we were kids, I know him quite well and I hope we can play together here.

“I think we will, but let’s hope we can do the best for the club.”

Joan Laporta has repeatedly expressed his confidence that he would be able to tempt Messi to stay ever since he took over from the unpopular Josep Bartomeu as president.

And speaking last week he suggested a deal was close, saying: “Leo surely deserves more and could make more elsewhere, but his desire is to make Barça great.

“I am sure that he appreciates the effort we are making, and I think that he is excited and motivated by the project we are building.

“For Leo, it is not about money, it is about the team and its chances of winning. Leo, above all, wants to feel comfortable, to feel appreciated. And then to win.”

He added that he was “moderately optimistic” that he and Messi could reach a deal that “is within the possibilities of the club and acceptable for the player”.



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