Javier Mascherano gets new deal

Updated: July 31, 2012, 1:39 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Barcelona on Tuesday extended the contract of Argentine midfielder Javier Mascherano four years through June 30, 2016, and raised his buyout clause to 100 million euros ($122.8 million).

"I am very happy that a club as big as this has offered to extend my contract and I can feel relaxed that as long as I do things well, I can stay here for many more years," Mascherano said in a statement on the club's website. "Extending my stay at Barca depends on me and how I perform as a footballer."

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Cristina Quicler/AFP/Getty ImagesBarcelona's Argentinian midfielder Javier Mascherano, right, on Tuesday signed a four-year contract extension with the team.

Mascherano joined Barca from Liverpool for a reported 22 million euros ($27 million) in 2010. He helped the club to six titles, including the Champions League, Primera Division and Copa del Rey titles.

The 28-year-old, along with Sergio Busquets, is the only player that hasn't missed a single match due to injury since the 2010-11 season and said he is ready for the coming season under new manager Tito Vilanova.

"The methods haven't changed at all," Mascherano said."The leader is now Tito Vilanova and he will try to adapt his footballing tastes to the team, but the important thing is that in most ways, it will be much the same as ever."

Although the former River Plate, Corinthians and West Ham United player has impressed with his defense at Barcelona, he has yet to score a goal for the club. Under Pep Guardiola, Mascherano was used at central defense.

Meanwhile, Barca captain Carles Puyol has said he wants to stay at the club until he retires, and that there will be no problem in agreeing to a new deal with the club.

Puyol's current contract only runs until next summer but after a difficult few months during which he missed the European Championships due to a knee injury, the 34-year-old defender said he is desperate to get back onto the field of play for the start of the season.

"I have changed my idea (about the experience of playing at another club) and now I want to retire here. I will try to do so. I have the will and desire to continue playing if the club wants me. What I don't want though is for me to become a drag," he told the Spanish news agency, Efe.

With Jordi Alba's return to Camp Nou the only significant move Barca has made in the transfer market all summer, the biggest change has come in the coaching ranks with Vilanova moving up from assistant to succeed Pep Guardiola as manager.

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