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Jan 21, 2014

Barcelona chief hints at new Messi deal

Barcelona board member Javier Faus said his disagreement with Lionel Messi is settled, while suggesting the club would soon offer the attacker a record-breaking new contract.

Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring on his return to the Barcelona side.
Messi's current deal runs until 2018.

Ledwith: Madrid duo close in

Faus set off a diplomatic incident late last year when he said he "saw no reason" why Messi should get another pay rise, even though reports suggest Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo and even his Barca teammate Neymar now earn more. Messi surprisingly responded -- from Argentina where he was recovering from his thigh problems -- to say that "Mr. Faus knows nothing about football" and suggesting the club’s directors were not in the same class as its players.

The Catalan club’s economic vice-president told a news conference on Monday -- where the club’s new stadium plans and Neymar’s controversial transfer were also discussed -- that neither he nor Messi had meant anything bad with their comments.

"It is something which is happily resolved now, as Leo has said on a number of occasions," Faus said. "There was no bad intent meant from me, or from Leo."

Barca president Sandro Rosell moved to quell December’s row by suggesting the four-time Ballon D’Or winner, who is currently on a reported 11 million euro basic net wage, would soon be offered a new improved contract that would make him the world’s best-paid player.

Faus also suggested that such a move by the club would be fair, even if Messi had lost out to Ronaldo for the 2013 Ballon d'Or.

"[Messi] is the best in the world and he has been that for the last five years, whatever the awards say," the investment fund manager said. "He will continue playing for Barca. I would second the president’s words -- he is the best player in the world and he deserves the best economic treatment."

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