Gossips about the future were ended by Lionel Messi when on Friday he announced his stay at Barcelona that he would unwillingly stay for another season rather than challenge his career-long club in court.
He said he wanted to leave the La Liga side a week ago, to sign a contract with row still raging, a six-time, 33 years old player of the year gave the news to Barca fans were hoping for.
However, in doing so the Argentine forward took a big swipe at the club’s hierarchy.
He quoted as saying to Goal.com, “I wasn’t happy and I wanted to leave. I have not been allowed this in any way and I will stay at the club so as not to get into a legal dispute.”
“The management of the club was led by president Josep Maria, Bartomeu is a disaster.”
By remaining at the Catalan club for the fourth and final year of his contract, Messi is in line for a 63 million pounds ($83.38 million) loyalty bonus and will be able to leave without a transfer fee.
“I told the club, the president in particular, that I wanted to leave. They knew this since the start of the past season. I told them during all (of the) last 12 months. But I will stay here because I don’t want to start a legal war.”
Previously on Friday, Messi’s father and descriptive Jorge had insisted in a letter to La Liga that a 700 million euro ($828.03 million) announced clause in the player’s contract that it was not valid and his son could leave for free.
Though, the standoff between the Barcelona and the Messi camp and La Liga, Messi has ended the deadlock and will see out his contract with the club with whom he has won more than 30 major trophies and scored over 600 goals.
Clubs are disappointed
The news that Messi will be staying at the Nou Camp, although unwillingly, will disappoint the clubs who were hoping to sign the iconic forward which includes Premier League’s Manchester City, achieved by his former Barca boss Pep Guardiola.
Argentine payed TV station TYC Sports which has closed links with player Messi. On Friday, he had reported previously that Messi was composed to stay with the Catalan club he joined as a teenager.
When Jorge Messi wrote to “La Liga president Javier Tebas dismissing their claim that the release clause still applied if his son wished to leave.” He said this when the situation got further complicated.
On Sunday, he accused La Liga, and backed Barca’s attitude of making an error in their clarification of the contract.
He wrote in a letter published on social media, “First, we do not know what contract you have analyzed and on what grounds you conclude that there is a ‘release clause’ applicable in the case of him deciding to unilaterally end his contract from the end of the 2019-20 season.”
In response to Messi’s letter, La Liga said in a statement in support of Barcelona issued on Sunday, “It is obvious that the compensation of 700 million euros, provided for in the previous clause… does not apply at all.”
Last week Messi dropped the bombshell that he wanted to leave the club and that he could do so on a free transfer.
He failed to show up for a pre-season medical on Sunday, making a move away look even more likely.
Messi’s lawyers wanted to appeal a clause in his four-year contract which he signed in 2017, which would have allowed the forward to leave the club for free if he had requested it by June 10.
They argued that date supposedly the end of the season was irrelevant after the novel coronavirus pandemic forced an postponement of the La Liga campaign deep into August.