• Primera Liga

Messi to sign new Barcelona deal this week

ESPN staff
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Lionel Messi is to sign his new contract extension with Barcelona on Thursday, which will see him commit to the club up until June 2018.

The news that the Argentine, 25, had agreed a two-year extension was first announced last December. The time and date for the signing ceremony were revealed via Barca's official website on Tuesday.

"Leo Messi will become the latest player to extend his time at Barca," said a club statement. "Recent weeks have already seen extensions agreed for captains Carles Puyol and Xavi Hernandez. On Thursday, the striker, who is currently in Sweden with the Argentina national team, will sign a renewed contract that binds him to FC Barcelona until June 30, 2018. The venue will be the club offices, and the time will be 16.30."

Messi's international duty this week should see him come up against former blaugrana colleague Zlatan Ibrahimovic, with both players now captains of their respective national sides.

The new deals signed recently by Xavi and Puyol tie both players to the Catalan club until 2016.

Xavi is currently sidelined with a hamstring tear picked up in Sunday's 1-1 La Liga draw at Valencia, which saw him withdraw from Spain's squad for their friendly with Uruguay in Qatar on Wednesday. Puyol looks set to win his 100th international cap for La Roja in that game.

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