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Lionel Messi 'close to new 10-year Barcelona deal'

Lionel Messi 'close to new 10-year Barcelona deal'
© Reuters
Lionel Messi is reportedly set to stay at Barcelona as the club are preparing to offer him a new 10-year deal.

Lionel Messi is reportedly set to stay at Barcelona as the club are preparing to offer him a new 10-year deal.

The 33-year-old was desperate to leave Camp Nou last summer after requesting a transfer, but he eventually stayed after Barcelona demanded that his £625m release clause was met before any transfer could take place.

According to Catalan television network TV3, newly-elected president Joan Laporta and Jorge Messi, Lionel's father, had dinner together last week and held positive talks regarding Messi's future.

Barcelona are allegedly willing to offer the six-time Ballon d'Or winner a new 10-year contract that includes two more seasons as a player with the Spanish giants, as well as a future move to a Major League Soccer club and an executive role at Camp Nou once he retires.

Even though the Catalan club have debts totalling over £1bn, they are hopeful that they can afford to offer Messi a new deal before his current contract expires in June.

The South American scored his 26th La Liga goal of the season on Thursday evening, but Barcelona missed the chance to climb to the top of the table as they lost 2-1 at home to Granada, which leaves them two points behind Atletico Madrid at the summit.

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CAtletico MadridAtletico38268467254286
2Real Madrid38259467283984
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6Real Betis381710115050061
8Celta Vigo381411135557-253
10Athletic Bilbao381113144642446
RReal Valladolid38516173457-2331

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