Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi has signed a contract extension with Barcelona that will see him become the highest paid footballer in the world – ahead of Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Argentine forward has been in negotiations over a new deal with club officials for the last nine months – with reports claiming that he may move away from the Nou Camp amid Manchester City's interest in his services..

But Barcelona have put and end to such speculation by annnouncing that Messi has already agreed terms to commit his future to the club having signed his seventh contract renewal in just nine years.

"FC Barcelona has reached an agreement to adjust the terms in the contract binding Leo Messi to the club as a professional first team player. The revised and updated contract will be signed over the next few days," Barcelona said in their official website.

Even though the club have refuse to confirm the figures, reports in Spain suggest Messi's wage increase will see him becoming the highest paid footballer in the world ahead of Ronaldo.

According to the reports, his net salary will go up from €13m to approximately €20m (£16m) and will also receive bonuses worth three million per season. Ronaldo is thought to be earning a figure in the region of £15m a year.

Messi's release clause will continue to be fixed at €250 million, with the contract understood to run until 2018 or 2019.

Recently, reports claimed that as well as a significant salary increase, Messi had demanded Barcelona officials try to sign Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero before he would commit his future to the club.

However, Messi himself denied those rumours.

"A lot of things have come out in the press over the past year, and practically all of it is nothing but lies. I am fine," Messi said.