Lionel Messi
MONACO, MONACO - AUGUST 29: Lionel Messi of Barcelona poses with the trophy of best Forward during the Kick-Off 2019/2020 - UEFA Champions League Draw on August 29, 2019 in Monaco, Monaco. (Photo by Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)

Barcelona legend Lionel Messi could leave the Spanish giants next summer. A clause in the Argentine’s contract allows him to leave for free should he wish to, according to El Pais, via L’Equipe. Should the forward decide to seek a new challenge, then Luis Rojo of Marca suggests that he will be able to negotiate with clubs from January 1 2020.

Lionel Messi to Leave Barcelona for Free?

Contract Clause

Messi has a contract at the Camp Nou until 2021; however, a clause states that he can leave for nothing at the end of the current season. Should he leave, he would not only have every top club in the world wanting his signature, but he would also leave a huge hole in Barcelona’s attack – something which is unlikely to ever be filled.

President not Concerned

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu is not concerned by the contract clause. Speaking to Barca TV, Bartomeu said: “Messi signed until 2021. It was agreed that at the end of the penultimate season he is at liberty to leave for free. He has earned that freedom to decide his future, but he is very Cule (Barcelona fan) and I am calm.

“Xavi, [Andres] Iniesta and [Carles] Puyol all had the same clause and we couldn’t give Messi a different clause, but I repeat, I am in no doubt he will stay for many years.”

Clubs Will Begin to Circulate

Top clubs around the world are now likely to be watching this with a very close eye. Any indication that Messi will leave and they will instantly begin to circulate around the Camp Nou and Messi’s representatives. Any club who signs the forward, even at his age, will complete one of the greatest signings in football history.

Messi has yet to feature for Barcelona so far this season due to injury. He is expected to return against Valencia after the current international break.

Stay or Leave? Lionel Messi Story Will Gather Pace

Until Messi decides one way or another on his future, this story will continue. The rumours will gather pace with each passing day and Barcelona fans will be nervously looking on. However, fans of clubs who can afford his wages will undoubtedly be dreaming of him holding their club scarf aloft in the first pictures with his new club.

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