?Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has confirmed that Lionel Messi has a clause in his contract which would allow him to walk away from the club whenever he wants.
A recent report suggested that Messi – who has a €700m release clause in his contract – actually has the power to walk away at the end of any given season, but this had not been confirmed by the club…until now.
Bartomeu spoke to ?Barca TV this week to reveal that ?Barcelona actually offer such a clause to all their legendary players, not just Messi, explaining: “Leo ?Messi has a contract through to the 2020/21 season, but the player is able to leave Barça before the final season.
“It’s the same case as with the final contracts that Xavi, [Carles] Puyol and [Andres] Iniesta had. They are players who deserve that liberty, and we shouldn’t worry, as they are very committed to Barça. We want Messi to play for Barça through to 2021 and beyond. We are very calm.”
Since making his debut back in 2004, Messi has made 687 appearances for Barcelona. In that time, he has racked up an astonishing 603 goals and 242 assists, establishing himself as one of the greatest players of all time.
However, at 32 years old, he is undoubtedly approaching the latter stages of his career, and Barcelona have begun to picture life without Messi.
Bartomeu has previously revealed that he wanted to keep Messi at Camp Nou ‘?forever’, adding that they will look to bring the winger back to the club in some capacity upon his retirement.
Having netted 51 goals in just 50 appearances last season, he is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon, and Barcelona will certainly be eager to keep Messi at the club for many years to come.