Barcelona to secure long-term future of Lionel Messi amid speculation of exit

After tying down Neymar to a new deal until 2021, Barcelona have switched their focus to Lionel Messi and will offer the Argentine ace a new contract.

The 29-year-old is coming off a turbulent summer both on and off the pitch, following his heartbreak at the Copa America and the tax fraud case which saw him sentenced to 21 months in prison.

In turn, there had been speculation that he would potentially consider an exit from the Nou Camp this summer, but according to Mundo Deportivo, talks are well underway over a new deal instead.

With two years remaining on his current deal, Messi has been moved to the front of queue with regards to extensions, and will now receive a wage increase as he extends his stay with Barca to 2021.

Although the documents haven’t yet been drawn up, Jorge Messi, the Barca star’s father, is expected to meet with club officials after his son returns from his extended summer holiday to get a deal done.

The Blaugrana have yet to make any comment on the situation, but they are desperate to ensure that Messi remains with them for the foreseeable future with all the setbacks this summer casting doubt over his future.

Further, as reported by The Sun, the Argentine international was said to have met with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, thus leading to speculation that a move to Stamford Bridge this summer could very well be a possibility after years of false rumours.

Antonio Conte has already splashed out on N’Golo Kante and Michy Batshuayi this summer, and that summer splurge is likely to continue in the coming weeks.

However, a move for Messi is likely to now be dismissed with Barca confident of reaching an agreement on a new long-term contract, with several others including Javier Mascherano and Ivan Rakitic next on their list as they look to preserve Luis Enrique’s current group of stars.

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