Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu insisted that Argentine legend Lionel Messi is already playing under the terms of his new contract with the Catalan giants.
FootTheBall had earlier reported that Messi had agreed to renew his contract until 2021 in July, but the Barcelona legend is yet to put pen to paper on the new deal with the Spanish club.
And it had raised doubts over Messi’s future at Barcelona amid rumours of a move to Manchester City next summer following Neymar’s world-record move to Paris Saint-Germain last month.
The Barcelona bosses have had accentuated that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner will sign a contract extension and club president Bartomeu revealed on Thursday that Messi is already playing under the terms of his new contract.
“We will take the photo with Messi’s signature, hopefully before the end of the year, but the contract has been signed by his father, who has the power of his image rights,” Bartomeu told 8TV .
“This contract is signed until 2021 and he is already playing under it.”
Messi has made an incredible start under new boss Ernesto Valverde – with eight goals already to his name in all competitions.
Messi scored a hat-trick against Espanyol in La Liga followed by an incredible brace in Barcelona’s 3-0 win over Serie A giants Juventus in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Pundits believe that Messi will put pen to paper on a new deal with the Catalan giants but Iniesta’s future at Barca appears less certain.
The Spaniard has entered the final 12 months of his contract at the Nou Camp and he is yet to agree to a new deal.
However, Bartomeu insisted that Iniesta will stay, adding: “The agreement with Iniesta will be special, it will be different just because it is him. I won’t reveal exactly what because it is part of private negotiations, but with Ramon Sostres, we have been talking for a long time.”
He added: “Iniesta isn’t just a reference point for us, but also for the young supporters, he has earned the right to play here until he decides not to any more, Andres is critical to this club and the intention is that this extension will be an indefinite contract so that he can finish whenever he desires.”
Barca are already four points clear of defending champions Real Madrid and now Valverde’s men will lock horns with Getafe in La Liga on Saturday.