- Lionel Messi has a clause in his contract that allows him to leave Barcelona for nothing if Catalan independence affects the club
- If Barcelona were to enter a Catalan-only league, Messi has an agreement in place with the club that his €700 million release clause will be invalid and he can leave for free
- Messi has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester City where he would reunite with his former manager Pep Guardiola
Spanish daily newspaper El Mundo's front page for Friday reveals that Messi would only remain at the club if it were part of either the Spanish, French, English or German league system.
The Argentine signed off on a new deal last November, putting an end to any fears that he would talk to clubs about a move in January.
But the latest news regarding his contract once again opens up the possibility of a Nou Camp exit. However it’s not quite as simple as Catalan independence being granted.
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Messi would only look to leave the club if Barcelona were forced out of La Liga and unable to enter the English, French or German leagues.
Naturally, remaining in LaLiga would be the realistic option for Barcelona given the legal and practical issues in integrating to a distant competition.
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Barcelona are said to believe this to be a given and consider it a gesture of commitment by Messi, who became the world's highest paid player when renewing following protracted negotiations.
Messi has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester City where he would reunite with his former manager Pep Guardiola, the political situation in Spain could provide that opportunity.
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