Barcelona star Lionel Messi could leave the club for free at the end of the season in case he doesn’t wish to continue at Camp Nou. These rumours gained significance after a recent controversy involving the Barcelona captain and club’s sporting director Eric Abidal.
According to reports in Spain, Lionel Messi’s contract includes a special clause which permits him to leave the club unilaterally at the end of the season. However, another aspect of the clause enables the six-time Ballon d’Or winner to depart as a free agent.
Lionel Messi and Eric Abidal were involved in a spat recently over the latter’s comments. Eric Abidal had criticised former club manager Ernesto Valverde for his tactics and playing style. Valverde was sacked by the club in December last year. He became the first manager to be sacked by Barcelona in mid-season in 17 years.
Abidal had slammed Barcelona legend Xavi for his comments that he was offered a managerial role at Camp Nou. Abidal went to the extent of claiming that certain players did not put in much effort on the field. This infuriated Lionel Messi, who took to Instagram, asserting that Abidal should not generalise the players. Messi felt that Abidal should name those who do not make efforts while playing with the first team.
[MEDICAL REPORT]@Dembouz will undergo surgery to treat his right hamstring tear on Tuesday, February 11 in Finland. Information on his approximate expected recovery time will be given once the operation has been carried out.https://t.co/KamzExiF2Q— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) February 6, 2020
Lionel Messi has been frequently linked with a move to Manchester City due to Messi's great equation with Pep Guardiola. Considering Barcelona’s recent struggles, it is likely that Messi would consider a move away from the Catalan giants. Barcelona were knocked out by Atletico Madrid in the semi-final of the Spanish Super Cup. It compelled the ouster of Ernesto Valverde. The club is also dealing with the unavailability of Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele.
The defending LaLiga champions are also trailing by three points to league leaders Real Madrid. Barcelona were also knocked out by Athletic Bilbao in the quarter-final of the Copa del Rey on Thursday. The Catalans will next play against Real Betis on Sunday (Monday IST).