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Barca in contract talks with Messi: club

sports Updated: Aug 04, 2009 17:57 IST
Barca in contract talks with Messi: club

Barcelona has begun talks with Argentine Lionel Messi to improve his contract, the club said on Tuesday.

"Relations between the two sides are very good," Laporta said. Messi's entourage "knows that Barca wants the player to feel good here... We are proud to have him in the team because he is the best player in the world."

The negotiations are continuing "at a good pace," he said.

The 22-year-old is under contract with Barca until 2010. His salary is estimated at eight million euros per year.

Coach Pep Guardiola said meanwhile said that the arrival of Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic will help keep Messi on his toes, and that's what he needs.

"If Leo isn't under pressure, he gets bored," he said.

Ibrahimovic was signed from Inter Milan last month on a five-year deal which involved Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o moving the other way and the Italian side receiving 46 million euros as well as Alexander Hleb on loan.