Barcelona ready to offer Lionel Messi new contract

Lionel Messi
Image: Lionel Messi has won nine La Liga titles with Barcelona

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu says he is determined to ensure Lionel Messi remains a "one-club man" forever and is ready to offer him a new contract.

Messi, who joined Barcelona as a 13-year-old, signed a new four-year contract at the Nou Camp in November 2017 but Bartomeu says the club are already looking to extend that deal.

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The 31-year-old has been in sensational form this season, scoring 42 goals in 39 games, and Bartomeu wants Messi to be forever linked with Barcelona, even after he hangs up his boots.

Messi took his tally for the season to 31
Image: Messi has scored 42 goals this season

"We would like to renew his contract, that's the idea. He is young - you can see that - and he still has two years on his deal," he told ESPN.

"He's always improving, always innovating. I believe he still has many years in front of him and in the coming months we will sit down with him so that he has many more years at Barcelona.

"Messi is a one-club man. It's more than what he does on the pitch - his relationship with Barca will last forever. I use the example of Pele, who was always at Santos. We want Messi to always be at Barca, whether that's playing or linked to the club.

Josep Maria Bartomeu
Image: Josep Maria Bartomeu has hailed Messi

"We want him to have a really long career so we can keep on enjoying him. Lionel's managed to break down borders. Everyone admires him and he's applauded at other stadiums by rival fans."

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Messi has won nine La Liga titles, four Champions Leagues and six Copa del Rey crowns, with Barcelona eight points clear in the league and in another domestic cup final already this season. They are also set to face Manchester United in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

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