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Bartomeu always convinced Messi would renew

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu says he always expected Lionel Messi to sign a new contract and wants the superstar to see out his career at Camp Nou.

Messi has agreed a new four-year deal at the Catalan giants, tying him to the club until 2021.

It would have been a huge surprise for the five-time Ballon d'Or winner to walk away from the side that have propelled him to the status of an all-time great.

And Bartomeu was not worried about optimistic potential suitors interrupting negotiations. 

"Personally, I was always convinced that he'd renew his contract for the next four years," he said. 

"This is great news not just for Barca fans, but for the football world in general.

"Leo Messi's story is one of loyalty and commitment. He's the greatest player in football history and has been at Barca since he was just 13. And the story continues. 

"The fact he's staying for another four years means that things are going well, and will go well, and we are very happy for him and the Barca family."

While it remains to be seen which club would have the resources and clout required to break up Barca's feared attacking 'MSN' trio, Bartomeu insisted vigilance is necessary to ward off unwanted approaches.

"We also renewed Neymar and [Luis] Suarez's contracts and it's not easy to convince such quality players to stay in such a competitive world as that of modern football," he said.

"A lot of clubs are after our stars, but they want to stay here and keep enjoying this successful era.

"Leo Messi has always said that he'd like to see out his professional career here at Barca and this contract says it all. It sends out a message of unity between Messi and Barca."