Lionel Messi, via his father and agent, has responded to LaLiga's claims that his 700 million euro buyout clause is still active. Jorge Messi was spotted with his legal team this morning ahead of the official response being released.
The statement, which can be viewed below in Spanish, says the following:
"1 - We don’t know what contract they’ve seen and analysed to back up claims only the buyout clause is applicable even if the player decides to unilaterally terminate his contract after the 2019/20 season.
2 - This must be a major error on their part. As is written in the clause 18.104.22.168 of the contract signed by the club and the player:
“This compensation won’t be applied when the player has decided to unilaterally end his contract after the conclusion of the 2019-20 season.”
It’s obvious the compensation of 700 million euros, as mentioned in the previous 22.214.171.124 clause, can’t be applied at all."
NO MESSI, BUT COUTINHO RETURNS
Whilst Lionel Messi's future remains locked in legal battles and public statements, the club captain hasn't returned to training with FC Barcelona. However, one man who unexpectedly turned up this morning was Philippe Coutinho. The Brazilian is hoping he can have a fresh start under Ronald Koeman at the Camp Nou.
As for Messi, the sticking point behind this whole scenario and his 'exit clause' is when it needed to be activated. Barça claim his right to exercise that clause expired on the 10th June whereas Leo's side believe it is active from the moment the previous season ended - and before the new one begins.