Lionel Messi’s father Jorge has said that his son can leave Barcelona for free this summer.
The Argentine’s representatives believe that a clause in his contract allows him to walk out on the LaLiga club immediately.
LaLiga have since denied their interpretation of the clause – but in a fresh twist, Jorge Messi has hit back with a letter to LaLiga.
Speaking about the letter, Spanish football expert Guillem Balague explained that it “denies LaLiga interpretation that the €700m buyout clause is still applicable.
“Jorge insists it is not applicable from the end of last season if the player decides unilaterally to leave FCB.”
He then revealed that LaLiga have hit back with a letter of their own.
On the response, Balague wrote: “LaLiga responds to Jorge Messi’s letter.
“They insist on their initial take as they reckon Messi is analysing the contract out of context and away from its literal meaning.”
The initial clause in Messi’s contract dictated that he could leave the club for free should he notify them of his intention to do so before June 10.
But because the season was extended by the coronavirus pandemic, Messi’s legal representatives have argued that so should be the clause.
The uncertainty surrounding his future has seen Manchester City reportedly put together a £623million package to sign for them.
But this morning it was reported that he could stay at Camp Nou for one more year.
Messi’s father, who is also his agent, jetted to Spain this week for face-to-face talks with the club bosses.
And Jorge confirmed for the first time on Thursday that the 33-year-old was considering staying.
When asked whether Messi not leaving was a possibility, he said: “Yes.”
Barcelona claimed that their No10 is currently on strike, having not turned up to Covid testing or Monday’s first training session under new boss Ronald Koeman.
The 33-year-old could yet see out the remaining year of his contract, however.
And team-mate Antoine Griezmann is hoping for that to be the case.
According to Mundo Deportivo, he said: “We try to have news, but what happens is between the club and him.
“We just hope he stays. We listen to a bit of everything but we don’t know more on our part.”