Lionel Messi is set to overtake Cristiano Ronaldo as the world's highest paid player after reportedly agreeing on a new contract with Barcelona, according to ESPN.
"FC Barcelona has reached an agreement to adjust the terms in the contract binding Leo Messi to the club as a professional first team player. The revised and updated contract will be signed over the next few days," read a statement on Barcelona's official website.
Although the 26-year-old striker's current contract, which contains a £204m (€250m) release clause, is set to expire in 2018, the Catalan club have decided to offer him a new deal to ward away possible suitors like Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.
This new deal, which will tie Messi to Barcelona till 2019, will see his wages rise from £10.6m (€13m) to £16.3m (€20m) a year after taxes, according to the report.
This means that he will overtake Real Madrid forward Ronaldo, who reportedly earns a basic salary of £15m (€20), excluding bonuses and other performance based incentives.
Earlier, there were rumours that Barcelona was willing to sell Messi for £204m, so that they would have enough money to invest in new talent this summer. However, later the four-time Ballon d'Or winner, who is the Barcelona's all time high scorer, with 354 goals in 424 games, denied these speculations, branding them as 'crazy stuff.'
Barcelona boss Gerardo Martino, who is looking forward to beat Atletico Madrid in the La Liga on Saturday and claiming his first piece of silverware at the club, admits that this development has improved everyone's morale at the Nou Camp.
"These are matters that will help bring tranquility for Leo and for the club. Obviously anything that is good for him is good for us. It will help him to bring us more on the pitch. Whatever is good for Leo is good for Barcelona," said Martino.
Tying up Messi's future will definitely prove to be a big boost for Barcelona, who will be looking to bring in new talent to further strengthen the team this summer.
Messi, who has scored 28 goals in 30 games in the La Liga this season, has won six La Liga titles, three Champions League trophies, two Copa del Reys, two Club World Cups and two European Super Cups with Barcelona since making his debut in the 2004/05 season.