La Liga released a statement earlier this week claiming that the 33-year-old’s €700million release clause remains valid and that any interested party would have to pay that figure in full should they wish to sign Barcelona’s talisman.
In a strongly worded letter, Jorge Messi, who held talks with Barcelona’s under-fire president Josep Bartomeu earlier this week, claimed that the release clause is no longer applicable.
He wrote: ‘1 – We don’t know what contract they’ve seen and analysed to back up claims only the buyout clause is applicable even if the player decides to unilaterally terminate his contract after the 2019/20 season.
‘2 – This must be a major error on their part. As is written in the clause 18.104.22.168 of the contract signed by the club and the player:
‘This compensation won’t be applied when the player has decided to unilaterally end his contract after the conclusion of the 2019-20 season.
‘It’s obvious the compensation of 700 million euros, as mentioned in the previous 22.214.171.124 clause, can’t be applied at all.’
Reports earlier this week claimed Messi had been forced to reluctantly rethink his stance after handing in a transfer request which sent shock waves through the world of football.
The six-times Ballon d’Or winner’s dissatisfaction grew over the course of tumultuous season which culminated in an historic 8-2 defeat against Bayern Munich in last month’s Champions League quarter final.
Manchester City had emerged as the frontrunners to sign Messi, but hopes of a move to the Premier League looked to have hit the buffers following La Liga’s declaration, coupled with Barcelona’s hardline stance.
Messi is also due to land a £63m loyalty bonus should he see out the remainder of his current deal, which his said to have played a part in him softening his stance.
But his father’s response to La Liga’s statement appears to confirm that he is intent on seeking a fresh challenge and cutting ties with the club at which he has spent the entirety of his professional career.