Lionel Messi's father has released an official statement regarding his son's contract situation, with the player wanting to leave FC Barcelona.
The Blaugrana captain handed in a transfer request on 25 August, sending it via burofax to the club.
It is claimed that Messi and his representatives wanted to activate a clause in his current contract that would allow him to leave for free.
Barcelona, though, have stood firm in their stance that the clause expired at the end May, and that his €700 million (R13.9 billion) release clause must be paid if he wants to leave. The club has since been backed by LaLiga via an official press release.
However, Messi's father, who is also his agent, has now released an official statement insisting that the abovementioned release clause does not exist in his contract anymore.
Here is an English version of the letter from Jorge Messi, as translated by The Guardian journalist Sid Lowe:
"As the representative of professional football player Lionel Andres Messi and in response to the statement relating to the player's contractual situation published by the Liga Nacional de Futbol Profesional on August 30, 2020, Jorge Horacio Messi states that, quite apart from your obvious interest given the role that said institution (La Liga) has in the defence of its associates (the football clubs):
"First, we do not know what contract you have analysed and on 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 126.96.36.199 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."
Click through the gallery below to see the biggest release clauses in football, with as many as four stars having a bigger exit fee than Messi: