Lionel Messi’s father, Jorge Messi, has hit back at La Liga’s claim that the alleged €700 million (£624m/$823m) contract clause must be paid for the player to quit Barcelona in 2020.
The Argentine, 33, has been locked in a dispute with the Catalan club over whether he has permission to leave Camp Nou on a free transfer following the conclusion of the 2019-20 season.
His father has held talks with Barcelona this week and, despite hopes of Messi staying for at least another season until June 2021 being boosted by comments made on Thursday, Jorge Messi fired a rebuttal to La Liga’s president for stating the €700m contract clause is valid.
Messi’s father said in a letter to Javier Tebas on Friday: “In relation to the player’s contractual situation, and regardless of its obvious bias for the role that such an institution represents in defence of the interests of its football clubs, I must state the following.
“We do not know what contract La Liga has analysed, and what are the bases on which they conclude that the ‘termination clause’ is not applicable if the player urges the unilateral termination of it with effect from the completion of the 2019-20 sports season.
“This is due to an obvious error on La Liga’s part.
“As stated in a clause of the contract signed between the club and the player: ‘This compensation will not apply when the termination of the contract by unilateral decision of the player takes effect from the conclusion of the 2019-20 sports season.’
La Liga replied immediately by repeating their previous claims, first aired on August 30, where they stated they would not sanction a transfer unless the fee was paid in full should Barca not consent to selling for a lower fee.
Messi has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester City, although such talk has quietened in recent days amid rumours the six-time Ballon d’Or winner could remain at the club where he’s spent the last two decades.
His bombshell demands to leave dropped two days after the Champions League final, which Barca have not featured in since 2015, and the transfer saga has gripped world football.
With one week until La Liga’s 2020-21 season kicks off, Messi effectively remains on strike as talks between intermediaries continue