Lionel Messi has done a somersault on his planned exit from Barcelona. He has now stated that he would stay in the club that he joined when he was barely 13 years old.
He made the announcement today that he has decided to remain at the club for the 2020-21 season after the club refused to allow a free transfer.
Messi told Ruben Uria of Goal that a disputed clause in his contract wouldn’t have made it financially viable to complete a move to another club:
“I thought and was sure that I was free to leave, the president always said that at the end of the season I could decide if I stayed or not.
“Now they cling to the fact that I did not say it before June 10, when it turns out that on June 10 we were competing for La Liga in the middle of this awful coronavirus and this disease altered all the season.
“And this is the reason why I am going to continue in the club. Now I am going to continue in the club because the president told me that the only way to leave was to pay the €700 million (£624m/$823m) clause, and that this is impossible.”
“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 led by Bartomeu is a disaster”, Messi told Goal.
Earlier today, his father Jorge Messi had written La Liga to debunk the notion he could not leave Barcelona, by the terms of his contract.
It now seems the Messis were trying to avoid a messy court wrangle.