Barcelona and Messi put the finishing touches to four months of negotiations, which got under way when Josep María Bartomeu took over as club chairman, and agreed on a new contract deal.
The new terms have been shaken on and all that remains now is for the paperwork to be drawn up and both parties to sign their approval. However, it is unlikely an official statement will made before the player has to leave for Argentina.
The new terms will result in a significant increase in earnings for Messi. His fixed net salary will go up from €13 million to approximately €20 million, as well as receiving bonuses worth three million per season. These contractual improvements are retro-active and will be back-dated to include the season just about to end.
The duration of Messi’s contract remains unchanged however, which means the Argentine will play for the club until 2018. Neither was there any change to the buyout clause, which is still set at €250 million.
The most difficult part of the negotiations centered around Messi’s image rights. Initially, the club hoped to receive a share of this income, but the player was unwilling to accept such changes.
Nevertheless, Messi did agree to budge on two related issues. Firstly, he agreed to end his sponsorship deal with Turkish Airlines, who had made an offer to renew the deal. And secondly, Barcelona can now use images of Messi on his own in those deals where he shares his image rights with the club.