• Barça include £626m buy-out clause in Argentinian’s new contract
• Deal would appear to scupper Manchester City hopes of landing Messi
Lionel Messi has signed a new deal with Barcelona through to the summer of 2021.
A renewal was agreed between player and club in July but it is only now that Messi has put pen to paper on the contract.
Announcing the deal, the Catalan club added that the Argentina forward has had a £626m buy-out clause inserted into his contract.
That means, in all likelihood, the 30-year-old will finish his career at the Camp Nou and not, as has been suggested for some time, move to Manchester City.
Messi, who made his senior debut as a 16-year-old in a friendly against Porto, has eight La Liga titles, four Champions League wins and five Copa del Rey successes among his list of honours with Barça.
Messi arrived at Barcelona from Newell’s Old Boys as a teenager in 2000 and made his first competitive appearance against Espanyol as a 17-year-old.
He scored the first of his club record 523 goals – which have come in 602 matches – against Albacete in May 2005 and has since claimed the Ballon d’Or on five occasions, more than any other player.
On Friday, he was presented with his fourth Golden Shoe award for being the top scorer in Europe, while his 30 titles put him alongside his team-mate Andrés Iniesta as the most anyone has won in club history.