Lionel Messi asks Barcelona to let him leave the club. Club confirm on Tuesday that Messi sent a document expressing his desire to leave. Spanish football expert Graham Hunter says Lionel Messi has ‘done the right thing’ by telling Barcelona he wants to leave the club
Lionel Messi has told Barcelona he wants to leave the club after nearly two decades with the Spanish giants.
The club confirmed on Tuesday that the Argentine sent a document expressing his desire to to activate a release clause that would end his contract and allow him to leave for free this summer. Barcelona have received this in writing via a fax from his lawyers. They have not officially replied yet but are understood to be preparing one. Barcelona do not agree the clause is still active. It is said to have expired on June 10 – 10 days after the original date of the Champions League final on May 30.
But Messi’s lawyers are arguing that – in the spirit of the deal and good faith – the clause is still active after the rescheduled final on August 23, which was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The announcement comes 11 days after Barcelona’s humiliating 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals, one of the worst defeats in the player’s career and in the club’s history.
The defeat capped a difficult season for Barcelona – the first without a trophy since 2007-08 – and ignited one of its worst crises ever. Messi has won a record six Ballon d’Or awards during his time at Barcelona as the top player in the world, and has helped the club win 10 Spanish league titles and four Champions Leagues.
Former Barcelona captain Carles Puyol reacted to the news that Messi wants to leave, tweeting: “Respect and admiration, Leo. All my support, friend.”
Last week, Barcelona’s new head coach Ronald Koeman said he wants Messi to remain at the club. Koeman said: “I don’t know if I have to convince Messi (to stay). Of course he is the best player in the world and you want the best player in the world in your team – you don’t want him playing against you.
“For me as a coach, I would love to work with Messi because he wins matches. If he is at the ability and the level he has always shown, I would be more than happy for him to stay.
“He’s still got a contract and he is still a Barcelona player. There are some older players in the team and we need to make some decisions but in Messi’s case, I hope that he stays with us.” Spanish football expert Graham Hunter told The Transfer Show:
“Messi has done the right thing and he should have done it earlier. His contract and the law may not support him, what Barcelona are saying is the ‘get out of Barcelona free’ – to pardon the Monopoly expression – is a clause he had built into his contract and I’ve seen very little examination of that.
“When his last contract was signed, they put that clause in and argued for a ‘get out of jail free’ clause at the end of every season. He had to inform the club in May that he wanted to leave and they had to allow him to leave for free. When that clause was inserted, it is typical of this club, if you look back at the Neymar fiasco, that they can be told something in big, bold writing and they misunderstand it or fail to act on it.
“So Messi and his people have been prepared to parachute out of a failing football club for a very long time. They will argue that although the timing for this clause in his contract has passed, they are going to say this was an odd season, an extended season and if months become transferable, they’re going to argue that saying it in August is the same as saying it in May. I’m not sure if that will wash.
“I think if you view it as a strategy in order to get the president out, I think this president [Josep Maria Bartomeu] is too stubborn and too obstinate to try and sit this out and even fight in the courts over this contract, which would be a disgraceful scenario. The presidential elections are in a year and I don’t think the president will bring them forward, even to save this situation.”
Watch the video below explaining why the Argentine ace is leaving Barcelona.
Source – SkySports