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Messi to sign new five-year Barcelona contract, take 50% wage cut

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Lionel Messi will sign a new five-year contract at Barcelona and take an incredible 50 per cent wage cut, Goal can confirm.
Messi has spent his entire career to date on Barca’s books, having initially made his debut for the club as a teenager in 2004, but dropped into the free agency pool at the start of July after reaching the end of his contract.
The Argentine won’t be embarking on a new challenge away from Camp Nou anytime soon, though, with the Blaugrana set to announce that they have tied the six-time Ballon d’Or winner down to a fresh long-term deal.
Messi earned a staggering €550 million (£468m/$650m) over the course of his last five-year contract at Camp Nou, which equates to around €75m (£64m/$89m) per season.
However, Barca were unable to hand the 34-year-old similarly lucrative renewal terms after exceeding La Liga’s wage limit at the end of the 2020-21 campaign .
League president Javier Tebas warned that the Blaugrana could not legally register Messi without significantly reducing their salary costs, with the likes of Junior Firpo, Jean-Clair Todibo, Carles Alena and Juan Miranda all subsequently sold to raise extra funds.
Messi has also agreed to halve his yearly earnings in order to re-sign for Barca, and Goal has learned that they will formally announce his new contract in the coming weeks after a few minor details are finalised.
Did Messi have any other offers on the table?
Messi became available on a free transfer upon the expiration of his last deal, and it has been reported that the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City and Inter have all shown an interest in signing the Argentina international.
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A possible return to boyhood club Newell’s Old Boys was also mooted, along with a potential foray into MLS with David Beckham-owned franchise Inter Miami.
Goal understands that Messi received several formal offers, including an attractive proposal from PSG, but he ultimately decided to remain a one-club man and continue playing for Barca until 2026 – at which point he will be 39 years of age.
-Goal

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Tokyo Olympics: Australia beat Nigeria 84-67 in Basketball opener

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Australia’s Boomers beat Nigeria’s Tigers 84-67 in a commanding performance on Sunday night in Tokyo with star player Patty Mills scoring 25 points as both nations opened their quest for a first Olympic medal in men’s basketball.

Australia matched its best finish by finishing fourth at the Rio Games in 2016 but is capable of going further this time with a veteran roster full of NBA players.

The Australians, ranked third in the world, pulled away in the fourth quarter of a game that had been evenly matched between teams with the most NBA players outside of the U.S.

Nigeria’s D’Tigers featured eight current NBA players and the Australians seven.

Both teams won exhibition games in Las Vegas against the Americans, who have 12 NBA players on their roster.

Australia opened an 11-point lead midway through the third quarter after holding the Nigerians without a basket for more than five minutes to open the second half.

But the Australians lost momentum soon after when the game was delayed because the horn was malfunctioning, and Nigeria cut the deficit to five early in the fourth.

But Matisse Thybulle of the Philadelphia 76ers made a 3-pointer and then Mills, the San Antonio Spurs guard who was a flag bearer for the Australians in the opening ceremony, helped break it open.

Obi Emegano scored 12 points for Nigeria, led by Golden State Warriors assistant coach Mike Brown.

Australia plays Italy on Tuesday in matchup of teams that won in Group B on the opening day. Nigeria faces Germany.

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PHOTOS: Nigeria dazzles in Tokyo Olympic opening parade

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Arsenal agree £50m deal for Brighton’s defender

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Arsenal has agreed on a deal in principle for the £50m transfer of Brighton & Hove Albion defender Ben White.

White was a late call-up to Gareth Southgate’s England Euro 2020 squad.

It completes a meteoric rise for the 23-year-old, who was released by Southampton as a youngster before being signed by Brighton.

He went on a number of loans from the Seagulls, including to Leeds’ Championship title-winning side in 2019-20.

White’s performances for Leeds attracted the attention of many leading clubs and prompted Brighton to secure him on a new four-year contract last summer.

That deal put the Seagulls in a strong negotiating position this summer and it is understood they rejected two bids from the Gunners before agreement was finally reached amid interest from other Premier League clubs.

White is on holiday so the transfer, including his medical, will not be completed until he returns.

The transfer comes as Arsenal part ways with Brazil defender David Luiz after his contract expired.

The Gunners have also signed 21-year-old left-back Nuno Tavares from Benfica for £8m this summer.

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