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Messi: My retirement is approaching, time flies

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Barcelona to renew Lionel Messi contract 'when he decides'

Barcelona have promised Lionel Messi they will extend his contract whenever he feels the moment is right.

Messi, only signed a new deal at the end of 2017 but president Josep Maria Bartomeu said the club are already prepared to further prolong his stay at Camp Nou.

The forward's terms expire in 2021 and Barca would like his next deal to be similar to the lifetime contract signed by midfielder Andres Iniesta before he moved to Japan.

"Messi's contract is up in two years but, given how he's playing, we will have him for many more years," Bartomeu told Cadena Cope.

"Leo's intelligent, he knows how to measure things. If he feels good, he will tell us. When he decides, we will renew his deal."

Messi's next contract will be his 10th professional deal with Barca and potentially his last. He has spoken several times about his desire to play for boyhood club Newell's Old Boys before retiring.

At 31, Messi is in the latter stages of his career, although he remains vital to Barca's hopes of success in La Liga, the Champions League and the Copa del Rey this season.

He has scored 29 goals in 27 appearances in the campaign, including two at the weekend as Barca came from 2-0 down to draw with Valencia in La Liga.

Messi, who has suggested he would like to end his career at Barcelona, injured his thigh in that game but has been included in the squad for Wednesday's Copa semifinal first leg against Real Madrid.

Bartomeu also said that "there will be news soon" as the club work on a new contract for left-back Jordi Alba, whose deal expires in 2020.

However, the president said that midfielder Ivan Rakitic, who's publicly pleaded for new terms, will have to wait until it's financially possible to offer him a pay rise, "which is not the case right now."

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