After missing out on signing Neymar, FC Barcelona fans have been dealt another blow after a stunning clause in Lionel Messi's contract, which puts the Argentine's future at the club in doubt, was reportedly revealed.
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The Blaugrana captain signed his latest extension in 2017, with the new contract set to expire on 30 June 2021 and making him the world's highest-paid footballer.
Messi's deal reportedly also includes a massive €700 million (R11.6 billion) release clause to fend off any interested parties, but Spanish publication Cadena SER has now claimed that it was only valid for the first two years after his extension, and expired in this European summer.
In addition, it is also said that Messi himself insisted on including a clause that would allow him to rescind his contract at the end of each season, on the condition he warns the club before the end of May of the year in question.
This means Barcelona could lose the Argentine for free to any team in the world. As such, the Catalan giants, unsurprisingly, are believed to be keen to extend their superstar's deal once again.
It is has been claimed that the LaLiga champions would like to keep Messi at the Camp Nou for the next 10 years, with the player taking up a staff role in the club once he decides to hang up his boots.
So far, though, the 32-year-old, who has scored 603 goals in 687 appearances for Barcelona, has rejected such long-term proposals in the past.
It is believed that Messi is considering ending his playing career in the United States, although he has also often stated that he would like to return to his boyhood club Newell's Old Boys before he retires.
Are you worried Messi could leave Barca at the end of this season to join another European side? Have your say in the comments section below.