Lionel Messi, Barcelona Reportedly Brace For Legal Fight

Has a key clause in Messi's contract expired?

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Things likely will become messy between Lionel Messi and FC Barcelona.

Messi on Tuesday informed Barcelona he wants to leave the club this summer on a free transfer, according to Catalan radio station Rac1. Messi’s contract reportedly contains a clause, which would allow him to do so one year before it expires. Otherwise another team would have to pay as much as €700 million (£630 million/$828 million) to buy him out of his current deal.

However, Barcelona might not allow Messi to fulfill his wish because they believe the clause expired June 10, according to Cadena Ser’s Sique Rodriguez.

“Barca confirms that it has received Messi’s burofax,” Rodriguez wrote in a tweet. “In the club they say that the clause to be able to leave for free expired on June 10. Legal battle is coming.”

Messi’s camp believes since Barcelona’s season stretched into August due to the coronavirus outbreak, he has the right to exercise his exit clause anytime before Aug. 31, according to Argentinian journalist JP Varsky.

Messi, 33, reportedly is fed up with Barcelona, following, following its humiliating 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich last week in the UEFA Champions League. Not only has Barcelona now failed to win Champions League for five consecutive seasons, but Real Madrid’s ascension to the Spanish-league throne at Barcelona’s expense only adds to Messi’s frustration.

He reportedly told Barcelona’s new head coach Ronald Koeman Saturday in a phone call he sees his future “more out of the club than in it.” Days later, Messi’s representatives seemingly have started the formal process of ending their relationship after 20 years.

However, Barcelona seemingly won’t make that easy.

Thumbnail photo via EFE/Sipa USA/USA TODAY Sports Images

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