Barcelona are understood to be content with the contract status of Lionel Messi, despite the fact he could leave the Nou Camp for nothing come the summer.
The Calatans giants have the Argentina international tied down at the club until 2021, but there is a clause in his deal which would allow him to depart on a free transfer at the conclusion of this current season.
This stipulation in his contract is nothing new for Barcelona. They have already had this situation play out with the likes of Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Carles Puyol, and got sufficient loyalty out of all three of them, and that is exactly how the Spanish side expect this one to develop too.
Their president Josep Maria Bartomeu appears pretty relaxed about the ongoing saga, and believes that Messi is such a fan of the Catalans side that he will be at the Nou Camp for plenty more years to come.
“Messi signed until 2021. It was agreed that at the end of the penultimate season he is at liberty to leave for free,” Sky Sports quote him as saying.
“He has earned that freedom to decide his future, but he is very Cule (Barcelona fan) and I am calm.
“Xavi, [Andres] Iniesta and [Carles] Puyol all had the same clause and we couldn’t give Messi a different clause, but I repeat, I am in no doubt he will stay for many years.”
Despite that confidence, Barcelona have already begun to put in place reinforcements to their attacking unit, should any developments see the man regarded by many as the best ever to play the game, to leave the Nou Camp.
The additions in recent times of Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele, combined with taking Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool, have all been designed to minimise the loss of Messi when the day does come that he leaves.