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Messi close to new contract with Barca

Barcelona FC vice-president Jordi Mestre has debunked reports that Lionel Messi has turned down a new contract offer from the club.

On the contrary, he said the Argentine star expects an agreement to be finalised in the coming weeks.

Mestre posted the denial in an interview with TV3, which was reported by ESPN.

Messi’s contract expires in 2018 and he is currently in talks over a new deal to extend his stay at Camp Nou.

However, the last few months have been filled with speculation over his future and Diario AS reported on Friday that the Argentine has turned down an offer worth between €30 million and €35m per season.

“The truth is everything looks good,” Mestre told TV3 when asked for an update on Messi’s contract situation after Barca’s 4-1 win over Villarreal on Saturday.

“Everything will end up well. If they’re saying there are problems [with the talks] in Madrid, then I’m delighted to be able to contradict them.

“Lionel Messi’s contract renewal is on track. I’d say we’ve hit the final straight and in a few weeks there will be news. I cannot give an exact date, but it won’t be long.”

Diario Sport previously reported that the offer to Messi will be until 2022 and that recent new deals for strike partners Luis Suarez and Neymar have laid the foundations for him to commit his future to the club.

President Josep Maria Bartomeu has also confirmed that the club are prepared to make him the best-paid player in the world to ensure he renews.

Messi, who scored his 500th goal for Barca last month, scored his 50th and 51st goals of the campaign on Saturday against Villarreal as the Blaugrana kept pressure on Real Madrid at the top of La Liga.

Luis Enrique’s side have just two games to play — against Las Palmas and Eibar — but need Madrid to slip up if they are to win their third consecutive league title.

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