Messi could leave Barcelona for free post-Cata­lan in­de­pen­dence

The Irish Times - Sports Weekend - - SPORTS -

Lionel Messi could leave Barcelona with­out a trans­fer fee if Cat­alo­nia se­cedes from Spain and the club does not com­pete in any of Europe’s top four leagues, Span­ish news­pa­per El Mundo has re­ported, cit­ing a clause in his new con­tract.

The Ar­gen­tinian signed the con­tract in Novem­ber, seven months be­fore his old deal ex­pired. It runs un­til June 2021 and con­tains a ¤700 mil­lion buy-out clause.

But ac­cord­ing to the Span­ish paper it would also al­low the five-times world player of the year to leave the club where he has spent his en­tire ca­reer for free if Cat­alo­nia’s in­de­pen­dence push re­sulted in Barcelona leav­ing La Liga and not join­ing the Pre­mier League, the Bun­desliga or Serie A.

A Barca spokesman said: “In the in­ter­ests of con­fi­den­tial­ity the club never com­ments on con­tracts signed with play­ers and never will.”

Messi’s man­age­ment team could not be reached for com­ment. – Guardian

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