Barcelona vice-president Javier Faus says he sees no reason to offer Lionel Messi a new contract, despite claims that Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo now earn significantly more.
Messi, 26, signed a new deal at Barcelona just last February, which is reported to be worth about 12.5 million euros a year, making him then the best paid player in Spanish football.
Barca's big summer signing Neymar, 21, is thought to receive about seven million euros a year, plus two million euros in performance bonuses, however reports that he and his family received 40 million euros of the 74 million euros transfer fee Barca paid for his services last season, push his earnings over the term of his contract up beside Messi’s.
Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo, 28, is also now said to earn over 20 million euros a year having signed a new improved contract at Madrid last September.
Asked by Catalonia Radio whether all this meant it was time for Barca to offer Messi another pay-rise, Faus was dismissive.
“I do not know why we have to do it again,” the blaugrana executive said. “We do not have to improve a contract every six months.”
Although Messi’s current deal at the Camp Nou runs until June 2018, it would not be that unusual to begin talks over a new one, considering he has improved his terms six times in eight years.
Away from all this speculation, the player himself is currently back in Argentina recovering from the run of thigh muscle injuries which have so disrupted his 2013-14 season so far.
Marca reports the recovery process is going to plan, that the injury is now healed and it is just a case of building up strength and getting ready to play again [probably in early January].
The Spanish newspaper, which published a video of Messi shooting at goal, also said that Barca phyiso Elvio Paolorosso is to travel to Buenos Aires this week and stay until the end of the year to oversee the next stage in his recovery, while Barca doctor Ricard Pruna and physio Roger Girones are also set to visit next week to also check in.