Lionel Messi has broken his silence on his Barcelona future after a saga at the club that has played out for more than a week.
Lionel Messi’s father and agent Jorge has hit back at La Liga following ongoing uncertainty about the contract of the Barcelona star.
The future of the 33-year-old has been uncertain since his bombshell announcement, followed up by the player refusing to turn up for pre-season testing or training with the club. La Liga have waded into the situation, attempting to shore up the position of Barcelona and thus the league with their interpretation of one of the disputed clauses in Messi’s contract.
Messi Sr flew into the city on Wednesday for talks with the club president to try and negotiate an amicable exit, with Manchester City waiting to see if the player will be available to sign this summer and what the financial cost of that would be. However, having started the talks by saying it would be difficult for his son to stay in Barcelona he conceded the next day that seeing out his contract could yet happen.
On Friday, Jorge put out a statement addressed to the head of La Liga Javier Tebas insisting that the €700m release clause is not active.
It read: “Mr. Jorge Horacio Messi, representing the professional soccer player, Mr. Lionel Andres Messi, in response to the Informative Note published on August 30, 2020 by La Liga Nacional de Futbol Profesional, in relation to the player’s contractual situation. Apart from its obvious partiality for the role that such an institution represents, in defense of the interests of its associates (soccer clubs), I must state that:
“1: We do not know which contract is the one they have analyzed, or what bases they conclude that it would have a “termination clause” applicable in the event that the player decided to urge its unilateral termination, with effect from of the end of the 2019/20 sports season.
“2: This is due to an obvious error on your part. As the clause 18.104.22.168 literally indicates. of the contract signed between the club and the player:
“This compensation will not apply when the termination of the contract by unilateral decision of the player takes effect from the end of the 2019/20 sports season.
“Without prejudice to other rights that are included in the contract and that you omit, it is obvious that the compensation of 700 million euros, provided for in the previous clause 22.214.171.124., does not apply at all.”
La Liga subsequently put out a response insisting that their interpretation of the contract is correct.