Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has confirmed that Lionel Messi is free to leave Camp Nou for nothing at the end of the season if the Argentine wizard wishes.
Spanish daily El Pais caused a stir this week by revealing a clause in Messi’s contract which gives him the option to rescind his deal in Catalunya with no cost from June 2020 onwards.
Messi is currently under contract until 2021 with Barca, having spent the entirety of his professional career at the club.
But Bartomeu moved to calm concerns by explaining it was a common courtesy that the club extends to its playing legends.
“Messi signed until 2021. It was agreed that at the end of the penultimate season he is at liberty to leave for free,” the Blaugrana president told Barca TV .
“He has earned that freedom to decide his future, but he is very Cule and I am calm. Xavi, Iniesta and Puyol had the same clause.
“We couldn’t give Messi a different clause, but I repeat, I am in no doubt he will stay for many years.”