Messi enforce clause to leave for free if Catalan independence affects Barcelona



Barcelona fans had reason to sleep easy when Lionel Messi finally put pen to paper on a new contract in November, it appears that there is a caveat to consider.

Given the volatile political situation in Catalonia, it is being reported that the Argentine has planned an exit route if all goes pear shaped for the Blaugrana.Spanish daily newspaper El Mundo's front page for Friday reveals that Messi would only remain at the club if it were part of either the Spanish, French, English or German league system.Naturally, remaining in LaLiga would be the realistic option for Barcelona given the legal and practical issues in integrating to a distant competition.

However the agreement also allows Messi to renege on his 700 million euro release clause should that not happen, and depart for free.Barcelona are said to believe this to be a given and consider it a gesture of commitment by Messi, who became the world's highest paid player when renewing following protracted negotiations.

That said, the scenario in which the club enter a Catalan-only league is also thought to affect the club's other contracts even if no specific clause is laid down, given that such a drastic change may effectively render agreements null and void.

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