Catalonia's bid for independence could allow Messi to leave Barca for free

Catalonia's bid for independence could allow Messi to leave Barca for free”

It runs until June 2021 and contains a 700 million euro (£623 million) buy-out clause.

As such, the five-time Ballon d'Or victor is said to have insisted on a clause that will see him continue playing for Barcelona should a Catalan secession from Spain happen, but only on the condition that the club is playing in a top European league - England, Germany, France, Italy.

A Barca spokesman declined to comment directly on the report, but told the newspaper: "In the interests of confidentiality, the club never comment on contracts signed with players and never will".

Messi's management team could not immediately be reached for comment.

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.

The referendum had direct ramifications for Barcelona who, on the day that it was held, chose to play their La Liga game against Las Palmas behind closed doors in response to police violence against would-be voters.

Messi is said to be open to remaining at the club were they to join the Premier League, Ligue 1 or the Bundesliga, while he'd naturally stay put if Barcelona continue to ply their trade in La Liga, which is the most likely scenario.

Five-time European champion Barcelona would face limited competition were it to play in a league formed exclusively of Catalan teams, even though the region does have two other sides - Espanyol and Girona - in Spain's first division, which the club now leads.

Messi has 15 LaLiga goals this season, with Barca top by nine points from nearest rivals Atletico Madrid.

Tebas had then said: "Barcelona can not choose where it plays if there is an independence process in Catalonia".

Well you better get voting in the Catalan elections then.

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