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By ESPN Staff

Laporta confirms Barca contract talks with Messi

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has confirmed they are working on a new contract for star man Lionel Messi.

Reports suggest the Catalan club are to offer the 22-year-old €9.5m per year and increase his release clause, which currently stands at €150m, to 300m.

Laporta and other club officials have already met with Messi's father to discuss the matter and the Barca president insists the Argentina winger is worth every penny.

"There's a very good relationship between both parties,'' he told the club's website. "They know that Barca want the player to feel happy here. He's a great player, a homegrown lad; we're proud to have him in the team, because he is the best player in the world.

"Everything's going along well. Barca will always do whatever is necessary to keep Messi happy at the club and we know that Messi has a complete commitment to Barca.

"This commitment had to be repaid on all levels. The club will always equal that commitment and love that he has for Barca.''

The mooted new deal would see Messi, who has spent his entire career at Barcelona having come through the club's youth system overtake recent signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic as the best paid player at the Nou Camp.

After starring in Barca's successful treble-winning campaign last term Messi is widely viewed as the favourite for the Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards.

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