Football - Fabregas reacts to trio's contracts

Cesc Fabregas hailed the announcement that team-mates Lionel Messi, Xavi and Carles Puyol had agreed contract extensions with the Catalan giants as "great news for Barcelona".

Barca received a huge boost after three key members of what is widely considered to be one of the best sides ever produced committed their long-term futures to the club. Record-breaking Argentina playmaker Messi's new contract ties him to Barca until 2018, while Spain internationals Xavi and Carles Puyol have agreed extensions until 2016.

The trio will sign their deals in the coming weeks, Barca announced, and a delighted Fabregas, while also recognising that highly-rated winger Cristian Tello had on Monday put pen to paper on a new contract with Barca, tweeted: "Great news for FC Barcelona! Very happy for the renewals of @ctello91, @Carles5puyol, Leo and Xavi!"

Fellow Barca midfielder Javier Mascherano was of a similar opinion, writing on his Twitter account: "Congratulations Puyi, Xavi and Leo for the renovations, great news for the team!!!"

Messi's current deal runs until June 2016 and the new agreement will keep him at the Nou Camp beyond his 31st birthday.

The forward has enjoyed an extraordinary year, even by his own remarkable standards, netting his 89th and 90th goals of 2012 at the weekend.

The 25-year-old had already surpassed Gerd Muller's 40-year-old record of 85 goals in a calendar year. He is also in contention to claim a fourth successive FIFA Ballon d'Or crown, being named on a three-man shortlist alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and team-mate Andres Iniesta.

Defender Puyol's contract was due to expire at the end of the season, while midfielder Xavi's ran out the following summer.

Their new deals are set to keep them at Barca for the rest of their careers and underline their commitment to the runaway Primera Division leaders under new coach Tito Vilanova.

They also reduce the chances of former boss Pep Guardiola being able to tempt them away if he returns to club management next season.