Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has dropped a bombshell when admitted Lionel Messi could leave the club as a free agent next summer
While enjoying his rise to the stardom at Barcelona, the 30-year-old forward has helped the Catalans win 34 major trophies and re-establish themselves as one of the biggest clubs in the world.
Widely regarded as one of the best players of all time, the Argentinean wizard has netted over 650 goals for the Blaugrana, having spent his entire professional career in Catalonia.
But, according to his current contract with Barcelona that runs out in summer 2021, Messi will be free to leave on a Bosman transfer at the end of the ongoing season if he wants to.
Bartomeu has admitted there is a possibility that the club’s stalwart departs next summer, insisting he is certain Messi will decide to remain at Barca ‘for many years.’
“Messi signed until 2021. It was agreed that at the end of the penultimate season he is at liberty to leave for free,” Barcelona chief told Barca TV.
“He has earned that freedom to decide his future, but he is very Cule, and I am calm. Xavi, Iniesta, and Puyol had the same clause.
“We couldn’t give Messi a different clause, but I repeat, I am in no doubt he will stay for many years.”
The reigning La Liga holders are not prepared for Messi’s farewell, which was evident in the opening stage of the new league season.
Without their leader, the Catalans have secured just one win in three rounds of the La Liga fixtures this term, which currently puts them five points behind the league toppers Atletico Madrid.
But, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner is expected to return to action after the international break and spearhead his side against Valencia next weekend.