Monday, November 29, 2021

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Messi signs new 5-year deal at Barca, to take half salary

Lionel Messi has agreed a new deal at Barcelona that will keep him at the club until 2026 on half of his previous salary.

The 34-year-old Argentine was a free agent after his contract – that paid him around £123m a season – expired on 30 June.

Re-signing Messi was the principal summer target and campaign promise of new president Joan Laporta.

Barca are also looking at a swap deal involving forward Antoine Griezmann and Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez, with the idea of reducing the wage bill.

Fringe players such as Junior Firpo, Jean-Clair Todibo and Carles Alena have already been sold to free up budget but other big-name departures will also need to take place.

The six-time ballon d’Or winner had been linked with moves to Paris St-Germain and Manchester City, who could have afforded his mammoth wages.

Messi is Barcelona’s record scorer with 672 goals and has won 10 La Liga titles, four Champions Leagues, seven Copa del Reys as well as claiming the Ballon d’Or on a record six occasions.

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