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Barcelona appoint academy head Josep Segura as general manager

Lionel Messi has signed a new three-year deal to remain with Barcelona until 2021.

Barcelona have appointed Josep Segura to the newly created role of general manager as part of a shakeup behind the scenes.

Segura, 56, has been working as Barca's head of academy for the last two years, overseeing the ins and outs of the B team and the two Juvenil (under-19) sides.

In his new role, he will still oversee that section of the club, but will now also be in charge of the first team's transfer activity, too.

A statement confirming Segura's promotion said that Barca will publish the new structure for the "Football Area" of the club in the coming days.

However, they add that sporting director Robert Fernandez's role working on first team transfers will remain unchanged despite Segura coming in ahead of him.

Jordi Cruyff was reportedly sounded out for the general manager job when president Josep Maria Bartomeu first decided to create the role, but he instead opted to take on the manager's job at Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Bartomeu then turned to Segura, who has a rich history with the Blaugrana.

He first joined Barca 20 years ago in 1997 as a coach at junior level before going onto to work in various areas of the club, including coaching and scouting.

After spending time in Greece as an assistant coach at Athens and Olympiakos, before briefly managing the latter at the end of the 2008-09 season, he joined Liverpool in 2009 as the technical manager of the Premier League club's academy.

In 2015, having left Liverpool in 2012, he returned to Barcelona, where for the last two years he has been operating as the head of the academy.

Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.

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