Lionel Messi is poised to become the world’s highest-paid player as Barcelona look to ensure his long-term future is secure at the Nou Camp before he heads off to play for Argentina in the World Cup.

Although Messi already has a contract that runs until 2018, his star status means that he has been able to force Josep Maria Bartomeu, the new president, to negotiate an improved deal just six months after those terms were agreed.

Barcelona know the richest clubs in the world would all be willing to smash their wage structure if it meant they could sign Messi, and Bartomeu cannot risk losing him.

Messi wants to be paid more than Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney and is thought to be demanding a basic wage in excess of £336,000 a week, while also keeping 100 per cent of his image rights.

“We all want Messi to be the best-paid player in the world and that is what we are working on,” Bartomeu said.