Lionel Messi is not earning a ‘super contract’ on the Barcelona deal that he signed last week, contrary to reports in the Spanish press on Tuesday.
The 30-year-old ended months of speculation over his future by signing a new deal with the Catalan club on November 25, a contract that will run until 2021 and includes a €700 million buyout clause.
Spanish daily El Mundo reported that Messi demanded a €100m signing-on bonus and that he is set to earn as much as 70 per cent more than Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
However, a source close to the Messi camp has revealed to Goal that the forward is in fact earning roughly €22m a year after tax, a figure close to what he was earning with his previous contract that was set to expire in June 2018.
Goal also understands claims that the Catalan independence referendum caused the delay in him putting pen-to-paper on the new contract are completely false.
Messi has been linked with the likes of Manchester City and PSG, with reports on Tuesdaysuggesting a mega offer from the Premier League club was rejected by the player to remain at Camp Nou.
Should Barcelona continue to ignore offers for Messi, it’s widely expected that he will leave for his youth club, Newell’s Old Boys, in Argentina.
Barcelona’s all-time record goalscorer has scored 13 times in 14 La Liga appearances for the club thus far this season, with the club currently five points clear of second-placed Valencia.
Messi scored in Saturday’s meeting with Celta but was unable to inspire them to victory, with a 2-2 draw offering Real Madrid an opportunity to catch them in the title race later that day.
But Zinedine Zidane’s men remain eight points adrift in fourth following their 0-0 draw at Athletic, while 2013-14 domestic champions Atletico Madrid are sandwiched between them in third on 30 points, six behind Barcelona.