Gerard Pique has reacted to claims Lionel Messi could leave Barcelona at the end of the season by insisting the forward has ‘earned the right to decide.’
AS notes that it was reported in Spain on Thursday that there is an agreement between Barca and Messi that the Argentine could leave in the summer of 2020, despite his contract running to 2021.
The report, originally from El Pais, adds that the agreement has been in place for each summer, and is similar to that which the club had with Xavi Hernadez, Andres Iniesta and Carles Puyol.
Messi, it continues, does not want to be beholden to any contract, having last put pen-to-paper in 2017, and the Barca side don’t expect Messi to leave at the end of the current season, due to his age – Messi is 32 in June – and his significant wages.
“I already know Messi can leave for free at the end of each season,” Pique said when asked about the situation.
“We know Leo’s commitment to Barca and I’m not at all worried. He has earned the right to decide his future.”
Pique was also asked about Neymar’s return to Camp Nou, which was mooted throughout the summer but didn’t happen by the close of the transfer window.
“There’s been a lot of soap opera, but that’s it. You have to turn the page,” the defender said.
“Maybe the market being open until the third round of the League is nonsense.”