Lionel Messi wants $35 million a year?

Lionel Messi Barcelona
Lionel Messi Barcelona

Lionel Messi is set to commit his future to Barcelona after asking for a a whopping £21m per year.

The Argentine, who became Barca’s record scorer this week with 371 goals in all competitions, will be paid €250m over five-years which will take him past his 31st birthday, according to Spanish daily AS.

Barca and Messi are currently discussing a seventh contract renewal in nine years and are said by AS to be far apart on the numbers.

AS also suggests Messi was made offers last summer by other clubs, while the arrival of Neymar and his complicated contractual arrangement is what has spurred the Messi camp to push for a sharp increase in salary.

It is thought Neymar is paid between €18m and €20m per year through a variety of methods, all contributing to make the Brazil international the highest-paid player in the squad.

Messi is said to earn €16m per year but it is felt that if Messi is the best player in the world, he should be paid accordingly.

Barca vice president Javier Faus, who has responsibility for the club’s finances, is understood to have a budget of €60m to spend this summer plus whatever is recouped in player sales, but that €60m includes incoming transfers as well as renewed contracts.

But both parties are said to be happy to wait to sign a new deal – Barca because they want to delay adding the cost of the contract onto their books and Messi because he fully expects to put pen to paper eventually.

AS add that the matter of image rights is now the main stumbling block to the contract being finalised.

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Eyal Vernon