Speculations surrounding Lionel Messi’s contract extension appears to have been laid to rest as Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu revealed the five-time Ballon d’Or winner is already playing under the terms of his new four-year contract.
While Messi agreed to a contract extension until 2021 in July, the Barca star is yet to put pen to paper on the contract with the LaLiga giants.
It has raised doubts over Messi’s future at Camp Nou following Neymar’s world-record transfer to Paris Saint-Germain.
Barca have continually reiterated that the 30-year-old will sign his contract and Bartomeu provided another update on Thursday.
“We will take the photo with Messi’s signature, hopefully before the end of the year, but the contract has been signed by his father, who has the power of his image rights,” Bartomeu told 8TV.
“This contract is signed until 2021 and he is already playing under it.”
Messi has hit the ground running under new head coach Ernesto Valverde, scoring eight goals in all competitions.
He scored twice in the 3-0 Champions League win over Juventus on Tuesday, having netted a hat-trick against Espanyol in LaLiga.
Barca – already four points clear of defending champions Real Madrid – are away to Getafe in LaLiga on Saturday.