Lionel Messi has an ‘intriguing contract clause’ that allows him to leave Barcelona this summer on a free transfer; with Manchester City confident that they are the player’s ‘first choice’, reports Stuart Brennan in the Manchester Evening News.
The clause was recently disclosed by Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu, who stated that Messi’s contract runs until 2021 but ‘[he] is at liberty to leave for free’ in the penultimate year of the deal.
The Argentine superstar has been involved in a public spat with former teammate Eric Abidal, who is now Barcelona’s Sporting Director. City will pounce to be ‘at the front of the queue’ should this discontent fail to be contained, Brennan asserts.
The bizarre contract clause would mean Messi could be reunited with former manager Pep Guardiola and his international teammate Sergio Aguero on a free transfer.
It seems unlikely Messi will leave Barcelona in the summer over a falling out with Abidal; but should the Argentine decide to leave, there is every reason to believe City would indeed by the player’s number one destination.
Follow us on Twitter for live updates: @City_Xtra