Barcelona to hand Lionel Messi £80m bonus for signing £500,000-a-week contract

Lionel Messi is close to signing a new £500,000-a-week deal at Barcelona.

And the Catalan giants could sell Nou Camp’s naming rights to fund an £80million signing-on bonus.

Work is set to start on Barca’s new stadium in 2019, but the naming rights for the next 25 years could be sold well before then.

The club delayed talks with the genius while Argentina scrapped for their World Cup place this summer.

But with Messi’s brilliant hat-trick confirming their place at Russia 2018, Barca can now switch their focus to his contract.

The 30-year-old’s current deal is up at the end of the season.

And it has been claimed Messi is being lined up for a world-record £357m switch to Manchester City in January.

But the five-time Ballon d’Or winner is expected to stay and the Mail report he will be offered a golden handshake of around £80m – the biggest in history.

The Blaugrana are desperate to tie him down with the club’s hierarchy still reeling from the £198m departure of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain.

Barca bagged injured winger Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund in a hefty £138m deal, with £97m paid up front.

But they do not want to lose another member of the vaunted ‘MSN’ frontline and are prepared to sell the Nou Camp’s new name to keep Messi.

Legendary playmaker Andres Iniesta signed a ‘lifetime deal’ last week.

Iniesta, 33, then insisted Messi wants to commit his future to the club.

He said: “The club wants Leo to be here, he wants to be here. I hope that his story (at Barca) never ends.

“He is unique, we can’t live without him and I think the club thinks the same way.

“It’s just a question of time, but I hope he renews as soon as possible.”


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