Clubs alerted to ‘special clause’ in Lionel Messi’s Barcelona contract
Drew Bartle Head Sports Editor
Argentina and Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi may have a contract with the Catalans until 2021, but a report in the Spanish news source Mundo Deportivo via the Express claims that 31-year old has a ‘special clause’ that will allow him to depart a year earlier in 2020, to a ‘non elite’ club.
The report interprets the clause to a ‘non elite’ club meaning that the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Juventus or Paris-St Germain are not eligible to trigger the early contract release. That would mean that Lionel Messi would have to be attracted to a new project with a ‘lesser club’ in world football, or potentially a move to his hometown club of Newell’s Old Boys back in Argentina.
Should this early clause in 2020 not be triggered however, Lionel Messi’s contract will continue on to 2021 with Barcelona, when clubs of an elite level can try and persuade the Argentine, likely for one last time, to leave Barcelona for them.
Barcelona on the other hand, according to the Express, want Messi to sign a contract extension for at least another year until 2022, with a potential further extension until 2023 also in the pipeline, should he want to see out his career in Spain.
Despite having a subpar World Cup showing with Argentina Messi has shown, even at 31, he’s not slowing down anytime soon. This season for Barcelona, in 11 appearances he’s scored 11 goals, accompanied by five assists. Five of those goals have come in just two Champions League outings – two against Tottenham at Wembley and a hat-trick against PSV at the Camp Nou.