Widespread reports emerged in August which claimed that Messi wants to part ways with the Catalan giants after almost two decades with the club. These claims were made in the wake of Barcelona's humiliating 8-2 thrashing at the hands of Bayern Munich, which kept up with their trend of disappointing UEFA Champions League knockout results in recent years.
LaLiga Santander released a statement earlier this week which stated that Messi's contract contains a staggering €700m release clause. They aided Barcelona's cause saying that the clause is still active, and no transfer can be completed until a club pays the full amount of stated in his contrac.
However, Jorge Messi staunchly refuted those claims, stating that there has been an 'obvious error' from LaLiga president Javier Tebas regarding his statements.
The six-time Ballon d'Or winner's father released a statement on his son's future which read;
"We do not know which contract they [La Liga] have analysed, and which are the bases on which they conclude that it would have a termination clause "applicable in the event that the player decides to urge the unilateral termination of the same, with effect from the end of the 2019/2020 sports season. This must be an obvious error on their part."
LaLiga respond to Barcelona captain Messi's statement
Messi's camp is of the belief that Messi's €700m release clause expired upon the conclusion of the extended 2019/20 campaign. LaLiga, though, stand firmly on their point that the clause is still active. Almost immediately after Jorge Messi's statement was made, Javier Tebas and co responded to their claims, stating that "the €700m clause is absolutely valid."
Italian football journalist Fabrizio Romano reiterated those claims, stating that Barcelona will not negotiate any transfer fee, let alone a free transfer, to allow Messi to depart from Spain.
Manchester City have reportedly been in contact with Barcelona to facilitate a transfer away from the club. Another reputed football journalist Marcelo Bechler, the man who broke the news of Neymar's departure from Barcelona, echoed these claims by reporting that Messi has 'chosen' Manchester City as his next club.
The move would see him reunite with Pep Guardiola, the man who helped Messi win four successive Ballons d'Or between 2009 and 2012.
Soon after LaLiga's second statement over Messi's future, Spanish outlet TyC Sports reported that the 33-year-old is set to remain at Barcelona this summer. Messi has just a year left on his current contract and will be forced to see out the year in Spain should he want to depart on a free and avoid legal procedures.
It remains to be seen what Leo Messi's final decision will be, but by the looks of the events that transpired on Friday, a prolonged stay at the Nou Camp seems to be a realistic possibility.
Published 04 Sep 2020, 19:19 IST