Football: Messi agrees new Barca deal

MADRID (REUTERS) - Barcelona and Lionel Messi have agreed an improved contract for the four-time World Player of the Year, the La Liga football club said on Friday.

Barca did not publish details of the deal, which replaces the current contract that is due to expire at the end of June 2018, but are expected to have enhanced Messi's status as one of the best-paid players in the game.

Local media reported that Messi would be tied to the club for a further year, to June 2019, and would be paid 20 million euros (S$34.2 million) a season plus a possible five million extra in performance-linked bonuses.

"FC Barcelona has reached an agreement to adjust the terms in the contract binding Leo Messi to the club as a professional first-team player," Barca said in a brief statement. "The revised and updated contract will be signed over the next few days," they added.

The Argentinian is Barca's all-time top scorer with 354 goals in 424 official games and news of the deal is a boost for the Catalan club before Saturday's La Liga showdown against Atletico Madrid.

Since the 26-year-old made his official debut in the 2004-05 season, Barca have won 21 titles, including three Champions League triumphs and six La Liga crowns. He joined Barca's academy at the age of 13 after a spell at Newell's Old Boys in his native Rosario.

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