?La Liga president Javier Tebas has revealed that Lionel Messi has already signed his a new contract with Barcelona, and the official announcement is merely a formality.

A statement released by Barcelona in July claimed that the club had agreed a new contract with Messi until 2021, but an apparent delay in the Argentinian putting pen to paper on that deal, and the fact that his current contract expires at the end of this season, has reportedly drawn interest among a number of European clubs.

Despite those rumours, it appears it will be sometime longer before that happens, with ?IBTimes reporting Tebas as saying: “Messi has a contract which has been renewed.” 

The president went on to say: “Contracts are official when they are signed and not when it is announced that they have been signed. Messi has signed with Barcelona, if I have not been lied to, he has signed.”

Those claims appear to back up a similar statement made by Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu in September, where he claimed the club were simply waiting for the right time to make the announcement, with confirmation of the new deal expected before Christmas.

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Messi has enjoyed another phenomenal start to the season, scoring 17 times in 16 appearances across all competitions and making his 600th appearance for Barcelona in the 2-1 win over Sevilla before the international break.