Barcelona  are set to offer superstar Lionel Messi , who has been looking out of sorts in recent weeks, a new contract according to club president Josep Bartomeu. Messi has been looking increasingly unhappy in the last few weeks and this has coincided with some poor performances from Barcelona. A disappointing end to the season awaits the club, who were knocked out of three major competitions in the space of a week.
Messi has come under fire for his performances in these matches, but he still remains one of the greatest players the club has ever seen. He signed a contract, which made him one of the best paid players in the world, only 12 months ago and this deal runs until 2018. However, Barcelona have been making noises that they would want to offer Messi a new deal in order to keep him happy. According to Sky Sports, Bartomeu said:
"Messi is under contact until 2018. But we want to improve it to adapt to football's current situation.
"I think people are being unfair on Leo Messi. He has led us to so many wins in recent years. He has led the team and done so very well and we have no doubt that he will continue to lead the club into the future.
"He's a young player, the best in the world and we have every faith in him."
Messi may have more than four years left on his current deal, but the contract signed by Cristiano Ronaldo a few months ago seems to have made a huge difference. Ronaldo is now the world’s best paid player with his contract fetching him close to £20 million per year. Messi is right now earning around £15 million per season. The net salary, though, is likely to make Messi retain the top spot since his contract allows him to take most of the money earned through image rights.
Ronaldo’s contract, on the other hand, does not have such provisions and it is understood that Real Madrid will not be parting a significant portion in the name of image rights.
Despite this, Barcelona’s decision to offer him a new deal is likely to come because of his recent performances, which appear to have come as a result of unhappiness more than lack of form.