Report: Messi, Barcelona reach agreement on new five-year deal

Barcelona's Lionel Messi during the Champions League quarterfinal match between FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich. (Manu Fernandez, Pool, AP)

Lionel Messi and Barcelona have reportedly reached an agreement on a new five-year deal, according Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens of ESPN.

As part of the deal, Messi is believed to have accepted a significant wage reduction to prolong his stay at the only professional home he has ever known.

The reduction was likely key to a deal, as Barcelona's financial woes have put their ability to sign players in jeopardy. Spanish league rules restrict each club's spending to a percentage of club revenue. Barcelona entered the summer needing to cut about $240 million from its wage bill to register new players — including Messi — next season, according to the New York Times.

A six-time world player of the year, Messi's previous contract was worth over US$594 million and expired on July 1.

Messi first joined Barcelona's academy in 2000. He has since played a total of 778 games for the club and scored 672 goals, both club records. His performances have helped Barcelona win 10 La Liga titles and the Champions League on four occasions.

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