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30th Aug 2020

Lionel Messi’s €700m release clause is no longer valid, reports claim

Lionel Messi's legal battle with Barcelona just got more interesting, as reports claim his 700 million euro release clause expired in the summer

Reuben Pinder

It’s about to get Messi

Right, so let’s just lay out what we know so far.

  • Lionel Messi has formally told Barcelona that he wants to leave the club via a Burofax, which is just a very official, recorded letter.
  • Messi is citing a clause in his contract that allows him to walk away for free this summer as his exit path.
  • Barcelona claim this clause expired in June.
  • Messi’s camp believe the clause is still valid due to the prolonged season.
  • That argument will drag on and has no obvious conclusion.
  • Manchester City want Messi and he wants them, but making it happen will not be straightforward.

And now there is a new piece of contractual complication, just to throw yet another spanner in the works.

Reports coming out of Catalan radio programme, El Larguero on Cadena SER, claim that the €700 million release clause in Messi’s contract has also expired.

As Spanish football journalist Guillem Balague explained on Twitter: “A new extraordinary twist. As told by El Larguero, the €700m buy-out clause DOES NOT exist in last season’s contract (and the club had not realised?).”

This revelation would give Messi’s camp more leverage in the internal negotiations with Barcelona over his proposed exit. But presumably, if Messi’s camp follow the line of argument that his release clause doesn’t exist anymore, their claims that his get-out-the-club-for-free clause is still valid lose a lot of credibility.

Messi did not turn up for his pre-season medical today, adamant that he is no longer contracted to Barcelona.

There will be many more twists and turns in this tale, with a very ugly legal battle being played out a very real possibility.