Lionel Messi agrees new five-year deal with Barcelona, accepts pay cut

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Barcelona has reportedly reached an agreement with Lionel Messi to sign a new five-year deal with the Catalan club, sources have confirmed to ESPN.

The Sources also added that Messi has accepted a significant wage reduction to prolong his stay.

Before the new agreement, Messi was a free agent after his contract at Barca expired with interest from Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City coming for his signature when he ended his 20-year relationship with Barca last summer.

The 34-year-old’s previous contract was worth over €500m and that expired at the stroke of midnight on July 1.

The six-time Ballon d’Or winner joined Barcelona’s youth program in 2000 and he started his senior career with Barcelona’s first team in 2004.

However, with the return of Joan Laporta as president in March, Messi grew more open to staying at Camp Nou.

Last summer, Messi tried to force an exit but relented due to a wish not to drag Barca through the courts while accusing former president Josep Bartomeu of not keeping to his word.
Messi’s 643 career goals for Barcelona are the most in team history.

Barcelona is expected to announce the new contract in the coming days. Meanwhile, the club’s spending limit dropped from more than $700 million to about $410 million since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, which led to pay reductions throughout La Liga.

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