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REVEALED: Messi's €700m release clause has expired

REVEALED: Lionel Messi's €700m release clause at Barcelona does not exist

August 29, 2020 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
The whooping buy-out clause initially believed to be in the Argentine superstar's contract has already expired.

Lionel Messi's transfer saga at Barcelona has taken an extraordinary turn with new information from Spain suggesting that the player's supposed €700 million release clause does not exist. The reports, which emerged in the late hours of Saturday evening, indicated that the said buy-out fee expired at the end of the 2019/2020 season, a development relatively 'unknown' to the club's board and one that could potentially see the Argentine international leave for free.

Many anticipated a prolonged legal battle between Messi and Barcelona with regards to the former's departure that has rattled the football fratenity since the news emerged on Tuesday. Nevertheless, the impending legal showdown has been curbed with new evidence coming to light. 

It has been widely speculated that the skipper of the Catalans has his heart set on a move to Manchester City having handed a transfer request earlier this week. The biggest blockade barring the transfer had to do with how much the six-time Ballon d'Or winner was going to cost the Citizens.

With Barcelona maintaining their stance that Messi remains off the market, the Camp Nou outfit were hoping to fall on a €700 million buy-out clause which they claimed was in place to deter potential suitors from making advances. The clause in question was inserted in the Argentine's contract during his last renewal in 2017.

However, according to Spanish media outlet Cadena Ser, his lawyers found out that the €700 million buy-out clause expired following the conclusion of the 2019/2020 season. This means that the massive release fee that the Barca skipper should normally pay if he wants out of his current contract does not apply for the optional 2020/2021 season.

As a result, Barcelona will be required to negotiate a fee with Manchester City in order for Messi to seal a move out. While the player could unilaterally rescind his contract and walk out as a free agent, the club are counting on him to fulfil the last year of his spell. Cadena Ser claim that the Camp Nou outfit will not hold any discussions with City or any other club interested in signing their most-prized asset despite previously wanting a player plus cash swap.

Meanwhile, Lionel Messi has decided not to show up at the Barcelona squad's PCR test on Sunday as going would go against his interpretation of contract. The player will, as a result, attract a 25 percent salary cut if he fails to show up for the exercise as well as subsequent training sessions.

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