Barca to reward Messi
Lionel Messi is set to be handed a new and improved deal that will see him become Barca's highest-paid player
By Francisco Acedo & Lucas Brown
Last Updated: 03/08/09 3:36pm
Lionel Messi is set to be handed a new and improved deal that will see him become Barcelona's highest-paid player, according to reports in Spain.
The Argentine wizard was recently replaced by new signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic at the top of Barca's earnings chart.
Barca are ready to offer the 22-year-old a €9.5million-a-year (£8m) salary that includes a €300million (£255m) buy-out clause in his contract.
The European and Spanish champions will sit down with the superstar when Josep Guardiola's squad returns from their pre-season tour of the United States.
Messi's father Jorge insists his son is happy at Camp Nou after being informed by the club throughout last season that they would hold contract talks this summer.
"We're very relaxed because Barca contacted us several times during the past season to tell us that there would be a renewal in the summer. So we're very calm," he told El Mundo Deportivo.
Meanwhile, Barcelona-target Javier Mascherano's agent Sebastian Mascherano insists his client and brother remains interested in a move to Barcelona.
Barca have been linked with the no-nonsense Argentine midfielder for most of the summer, but with Xabi Alonso nearing a move to Real Madrid it seems unlikely he would now be available at any price.
"If Barca come up with the money then things could change quite quickly because Javier remains very interested, but it's important they make the first move," said the player's brother.