LIONEL MESSI is close to signing a new deal with Barcelona, according to the club’s vice-president Jordi Mestre.
And Barca have also found a replacement for head coach Luis Enrique.
Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi, 29, shrugged off speculation that he WON’T be signing on by scoring twice against Villareal at the weekend.
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Now it looks as though he’s heading for a £25million a year contract.
Mestre took the chance to set the record straight when he told TV3.
“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.
“The truth is everything looks very good.
“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.”
Of the situation surrounding the outgoing Enrique, assistant Juan Carlos Unzue has also been talked up as a potential No 1 by Barca players.
Ernesto Valverde and Ronald Koeman have also been linked to the job, but Mestre added:
“We have already chosen his replacement but we won’t communicate our decision right now out of respect for Luis Enrique.”
Messi scored his 500th goal for Barca in the thrilling Clasico win over title rivals Real Madrid at the end of last month and he is on 51 for the season after netting against Villarreal.
As Barcelona try to keep the heat on Real Madrid in the battle at the top, added motivation may come in looking to end Luis Enrique’s reign with a third title in as many years.