Chelsea and Manchester City have both suffered a setback in their reported pursuit and interest on signing Lionel Messi.
SaveChelsea reports that following La Liga’s official statement confirming that they side with Barcelona in their legal dispute with the Argentine, the two England giants are in a setback.
They claim that the player’s €700million release clause remains in place and a club paying the release clause is the only way out for the superstar leaving this summer.
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The 33-year-old has a clause in his deal allowing him to leave at the end of any season, and reports last week claimed that Messi’s camp believes that it has been extended in line with the prolonged 2019/20 season.
However, the statement from La Liga says they will only allow Messi to be released from his Barcelona contract if his release clause is matched or the Camp Nou club negotiate a sale.
They said: “In relation to the different interpretations (some of them contradictory to each other) published in recent days in different media, related to the contractual situation of the player Lionel Andrés Messi with FC Barcelona, LaLiga wishes to clarify that with regards to the player’s contract with his club:
– The contract is currently in force and has a “termination clause” applicable to the event that Lionel Andrés Messi decides to activate the early unilateral termination of the contract, carried out in accordance with article 16 of Royal Decree 1006/1985, of June 26, which regulates the special employment relationship of professional athletes.
– In compliance with the applicable regulations, and following the corresponding procedure in these cases, LaLiga will not carry out the prior visa process for the player to be removed from the federation if they have not previously paid the amount of said clause.”
Messi failed to report for coronavirus testing at Barcelona’s training complex as he continues his battle to leave the club.
The Argentine’s decision not to attend means he will be unable to participate in Ronald Koeman’s first training session on Monday afternoon.
Messi has told the Barcelona hierarchy that he wants to leave this summer and has requested a meeting with the board to find a resolution.
But reports from Spain over the weekend claimed that the club’s chiefs will only be prepared to meet with Messi to discuss a new contract.
Both Chelsea and City have been linked with the superstar since the news broke that he wants out of the Catalan club this summer.
However, over the last few days, reports have claimed that City have appeared to have stolen a march in their pursuit of Messi.