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Messi agrees new contract with Barcelona

  • Story Highlights
  • Lionel Messi has agreed a new contract with Spanish champions Barcelona
  • The Argentina international will remain with the Catalan giants until 2016
  • Everton have completed the signing of Australia captain Lucas Neill on a free
  • Chelsea have the option to sign Matej Delac from Inter Zapresic in the future
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(CNN) -- Lionel Messi committed his future to reigning Spanish champions Barcelona by signing a new six-year contract with the Catalan giants.

Lionel Messi

Barcelona playmaker Lionel Messi has signed a new contract with the club which will keep him at the Nou Camp until 2016.

The 22-year-old Argentina international's current deal at the Nou Camp was set to run out in 2014 but Barcelona offered an extension to retain the playmaker until 2016.

Messi, who joined Barca in 2001 and made his debut in Spain's La Liga in 2004 aged 17, will become the best paid player at the club while the release clause to buy him has been increased from $220 million to $368 million.

A statement on the club's Web site said: "Leo Messi has extended and improved his contract which links him to FC Barcelona.

"The signing of the contract took place on Friday afternoon at the club offices.

"With this new contract, Leo Messi ensures he will be here for 15 years, having started his career at Barca in 2001, in the youth sector of the club."

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola, who led the club to an unprecedented treble last season, was pleased to secure the services of the talented playmaker for the immediate future.

He added: "It's an immense piece of news for the club and for the player that Messi is renewing his contract as it also was when Victor Valdes and Xavi did so.

"People go to football to see the best and that's what they are. It's a privilege for Barca to have some of the best footballers like Messi."

Meanwhile Everton manager David Moyes has increased his defensive options after the English Premier League club completed the signing of Australia captain Lucas Neill on a free transfer.

Neill, who had been without a club after he left West Ham in the summer, signed a one-year deal at Goodison Park and admitted he is keen to help the club challenge for a place in the Champions League after an inconsistent start to the season.

He told the club's Web site: "I'm joining a team that's already established and got a good platform and experience in the Premier League.

"The quality is here. Everton got off to a similar start last year and ended up finishing fifth. Again it will be a season where we'll be trying to break into that all important top four."

Chelsea have reached a agreement with Croatian club Inter Zapresic over the option to sign goalkeeper Matej Delac in 2011 despite a transfer ban.

The Blues cannot bring in any new players for the next two transfer windows after they were found guilty by world football's governing body FIFA of inducing French youngster Gael Kakuta move to the club from French side Lens.

But Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti believes FIFA have no objections to the agreement which will see the 17-year-old remain with the Croatian club for the next two years.

"I think FIFA are happy. He is very young and this is a solution for our future, not for the present," Ancelotti told reporters at a press conference on the eve of his side's match with Tottenham.

"We put a lot of attention on the young players in every part of the world and if it is possible to take them, we want to do this."

All About FC BarcelonaSpainEuropean FootballLionel MessiJoan LaportaLiga de Futbol ProfesionalPrimera LigaChelsea FCEverton FC

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