Messi to stay at Barcelona after the club refuses free transfer exit

BARCELONA, SPAIN - March 7: Lionel Messi #10 of Barcelona leads his team onto the field during the Barcelona V Real Sociedad, La Liga regular season match at Estadio Camp Nou on March 7th 2020 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

As the Lionel Messi transfer saga rages on, there still has not been any official movement from Barcelona.

The superstar made it clear last week that he wants out of Barca after the roughest season he’s experienced at the club, but it looks like he will be staying. According to Fabrizio Romano, Messi will soon announce he will stay with the club next season after a back-and-forth on Friday involving his father and agent and the Spanish league.  So what’s the latest on his situation from all angles? Here’s what to know about the situation:

TyC Sports in Argentina firs reported that Messi will stay with Barcelona until June 30, 2021 when his contract expires. The report suggests that Messi doesn’t want to leave in the middle of a legal battle between him and the club to avoid having a court battle between the two sides.

Earlier on Friday, his father and agent, Jorge Messi, claimed there is no release clause in his contract and that his son could leave for free.

In a letter to La Liga, Jorge Messi wrote “The buyout clause does not apply in Lionel’s contract,” saying that the league misread his contract.

This isn’t his first u-turn

Messi has been one to go back on his word in the past. Just four years ago, Messi retired from the Argentina national team only to then return.  It was following the loss to Chile in penalty kicks in the 2016 Copa America Centenario final. He played for the Argentina national months later. So, whatever he comes out and says, realize that could change quickly.

READ ALSO:  Messi wins first major trophy with Argentina

So when could he leave?

So at this stage, he could stay at the club until next June, and then he would be a free agent when his contract expires. That would give him the opportunity to sign with Manchester City, PSG or any other club without that new team having to pay a transfer fee.

Of course, if he stays for this season, that could by Barca more time to make him happy and convince him to stay, though it seems like his mind is made up. But in the past, we’ve seen him make up his mind and things change late.

Source: CBS Sports