Lionel Messi’s father has written to La Liga insisting the player is contractually allowed to leave Barcelona for free in the current transfer window.
The league had stated last weekend that it believed a buyout clause of 700million euros still applied, but Jorge Messi – who also acts as the player’s agent – insists the player’s contract allowed him to exercise an option to leave at the end of the 2019-20 season.
In a letter addressed to the league president Javier Tebas and made public on Friday afternoon, Messi’s father responded to the league’s statement from five days ago.
La Liga announced that Messi’s contract at Barcelona remains valid and subject to a €700m release clause – a figure which could not be assumed by the player or the clubs interested in signing him, including Manchester City.
In the letter, Messi’s father dismissed the league’s conclusion and questioned whether they have even seen the correct contract.
His letter described the league’s conclusion as “a clear error” and supported his claim that the clause is not applicable from the end of the 2019-2020 season by directly quoting from the contract. That clause, he wrote, states:
“This indemnity will not apply when the player’s decision to unilaterally rescind the contract is effective from the end of the 2019-2020 season.”
The letter does not, though, announce that Leo Messi will depart, nor repeat that he remains determined to do so.
“First, we do not know what contract you have analysed and one what grounds you conclude that there is a recission clause applicable in the case of him deciding to unilaterally end his contract from the end of the 2019-20 season.
“Second, that doing so [reaching that conclusion] is founded upon a clear error on your part. As clause 220.127.116.11 of the contract signed between the club and the player explicitly says: “This indemnity will not apply when the player’s decision to unilaterally rescind the contract is effective from the end of the 2019-2020 season.” [Signed] Jorge H. Messi.”
Barca’s season ended on August 14 when they were hammered by Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals.