Barcelona’s French defender Lucas Digne (2R) celebrates a goal with Barcelona’s Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (L), Barcelona’s Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez (2L) and Barcelona’s Brazilian midfielder Paulinho during the UEFA Champions League group D football match FC Barcelona vs Olympiacos FC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on Ocotber 18, 2017. LLUIS GENE / AFP

Resurgent Barcelona were given a fresh boost Thursday when key defender Gerard Pique signed a contract extension until 2022.
Having recently lost Brazilian superstar Neymar in an aggressive contract buy out by Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona have put a 500 million euros ($611 million) buy out clause in Pique’s new contract.

“The club and the player have agreed terms on a new deal through to June 30, 2022. We will announce when the official signing will take place in a couple of days,” Barcelona said on their website.

The 30-year-old joined Barcelona from Manchester United in 2008 and has proved an increasingly steady presence as centre-back with the Catalans winning three Champions Leagues and six Spanish Liga titles during his tenure.

The 6ft 4in (1.94m) Pique was part of the Spain side that won the 2010 World Cup and the 2012 European Championships.

Barcelona currently top the Spanish League with a nine points lead over Atletico Madrid, but are an impressive 19 points clear of fourth placed arch-rivals Real Madrid.

AFP