Gerard Pique remains optimistic that Lionel Messi will soon put pen to paper on a new Barcelona deal after claiming his teammate "loves the club more than anyone".

Barcelona announced on 5 July that the five-time Ballon d'Or winner had agreed a new contract to commit his future to the Nou Camp club until 2021.

"FC Barcelona and Leo Messi have agreed on a contract renewal that will keep the Argentinian at the club until June 30th, 2021," a statement from the club confirmed. "The deal will be signed in the coming weeks, when Messi returns to the team for pre-season training."

However, the 30-year-old forward is yet to sign the deal following a disappointing summer in which he has seen his close friend Neymar leave Barcelona to join Paris Saint-Germain in a world record transfer.

It has been reported that Messi is waiting to see who the club sign to replace Neymar after the Catalans were humiliated by Real Madrid during the recent Spanish Super Cup with a 5-1 defeat on aggregate.

Messi's delay in signing the new deal has sparked speculation in recent days over a potential move to Manchester City – as he would be able to make a free-agent move next summer should he decide against agreeing fresh terms.

Pique, however, is not concerned about those delays and remains hopeful that sooner rather than later Messi will put pen to paper on the proposed deal.

"Everyone has the right to sign when they want. We hope it will be as soon as possible," Pique said as quoted by Sport. "I'm not worried at all about his renewal because I know him and how he is. He loves the club more than anyone."

Barcelona are trying to ease Messi's concerns about the long-term project of the club by signing Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho and Borussia Dortmund winger Ousmane Dembele. The two players would allow new manager Ernesto Valverde to form one of the most threatening attacking quartets in the world alongside Luis Suarez and Messi himself.

However, the Catalans are struggling to convince both Liverpool and Dortmund to cash in on with the two players despite being ready to pay more than the €222m (£204m, $261m) generated from Neymar's sale to lure them to the Nou Camp.

Barcelona have already had three offers rejected by Liverpool for Coutinho and earlier this week Sky Sports claimed that they are preparing a new improved bid that could worth up to £138m to complete his signing.

Meanwhile, the Catalans are also confident of getting Dembele before the end of the transfer window with recent reports from Germany claiming that they have launched an offer worth around €130m (£119m) to test Dortmund's resolves.

Asked about the Catalans pursuit of Coutinho and Dembele, Pique replied: "I've not seen much of them. Normally I follow the Spanish league, although I've not seen much of that. The club are working on signings and I'm sure that if they want to sign them it's because they have the level to play for Barça. Clubs know that we have money and that's how the market has gone. But I don't think it will be a problem because the players don't want to come."

Pique recently admitted that he felt "inferior" to Real Madrid for the first time in his nine years as a Barcelona defender following the defeat to Los Blancos in the Spanish Super Cup.

However, the Spanish international hopes the Catalans could turnaround the situation after they started the La Liga season with a 2-0 victory over Real Betis.

"It's always good to start La Liga with a win. We have to beat Alaves now and continue the good dynamic. We hope that the transfer market closes with the most complete squad possible and that we can aspire to win all the titles like every year," Pique said.

"We can be competitive against any team. Against [Real] Madrid, too. But it's true that if players come we will be more competitive and there will be more competition for place."

Gerard Pique
Gerard Pique hopes Getty