Messi Sets Conditional No-Fee Barcelona Exit

Messi Sets Conditional No-Fee Barcelona ExitMessi Sets Conditional No-Fee Barcelona Exit

Lionel Messi could leave Barcelona without a transfer fee if Catalonia ceded from Spain and the club did not compete in any of Europe’s top four leagues, Spanish daily El Mundo said on Friday, citing a clause in his new contract.

Barca’s all-time top scorer signed the contract in November, seven months before his old deal expired. It runs until June 2021 and contains a 700 million euro ($843 million) buy-out clause, Reuters reported. But according to El Mundo, it would also allow the five-time 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 Barca exiting Spain’s top flight and not joining either the Premier League, the Bundesliga or Serie A.

A Barca spokesman declined to comment directly on the report but added: “In the interests of confidentiality the club never comments on contracts signed with players.”

The political crisis triggered by Catalonia’s independence drive remains unresolved after separatists won a slim parliamentary majority in a regional election last month.

The president of La Liga, Javier Tebas, has repeatedly said Barcelona would be booted out of the Spanish league along with all other Catalan clubs in the event of independence, as only teams from Spain and Andorra are legally entitled to compete in the Spanish leagues. Barca, which has won 24 La Liga titles, leads this season’s standings by nine points,


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