Messi sent a burofax to Barcelona on August 25th 2020 asking to trigger the clause he had agreed with the club that allowed him to unilaterally terminate the contract he signed back in 2017.
Josep Maria Bartomeu, the president, replied that the aforementioned clause expired on June 10th and that should Messi want to leave Camp Nou either he or one of his suitors would have to pay his €700m release clause.
Image courtesy of Transfermarkt.
This was viewed by Messi as a violation of the spirit of the agreement given the elongated season that had just passed, and provoked the searing interview the player gave to Ruben Uria on September fourth where he announced he was staying at the club against his will.
Now, the club are fully engaged in the electoral process that is scheduled to begin in earnest on January 24th while Messi is free to negotiate with whomever he pleases come January 1st given that his contract expires in June.
All nine pre-candidates have said that they want the Argentine to sign a new deal at Camp Nou, but the major obstacle in realising that ambition is both his desire and his salary demands. Many are said to favour a deferred compensation scheme but, to date, nobody has spoken with Messi or with his father and agent, Jorge.
Image courtesy Bitter and Blue.
All is said to hinge on the presidential race that culminates on January 24th. Joan Laporta, who knows Messi well, has claimed to be crystal clear that he’ll give Barcelona a chance before making a clear decision, pointing to the idea that the first serious conversation will be with the successful candidate.
This hope is paired with the information that neither Messi nor his father has officially spoken with any of the many clubs linked with him, and that Jorge has been in Rosario since September.
Much was made of Messi’s recent Instagram post, of the entire Barcelona team celebrating a goal together against Real Sociedad. Their clash with Valencia this afternoon is important in their title ambitions, but these next few months are pivotal with regards to their captain’s future.
Featured image courtesy of Fifa.