There has been all sorts of speculation over the future of Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi. The pressure steadily mounted as the Argentina international could agree terms with clubs outside of Spain with eight months left on his deal. After 17 years at the Camp Nou, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner could discuss a potential move in six weeks.
Eventually, the club and the player – and his team – eventually reached an agreement. Barca had earlier announced that the contract was done and that Messi’s father has signed. However, without the player’s signature it was all void.
Messi is a true symbol of Barcelona, with one poll by www.livefootballtickets.com suggesting that over 34% of ticket sales were to see Messi in action in the flesh! He has become a worldwide icon at Barca, and is in no small way responsible for their expanding commercial empire.
The club president Josep Maria Bartomeu was already under intense pressure for several incidents, especially the signature and exit of Neymar, and the way several employees left the club.
Reports prove that truly the deal was signed but following circumstances held up the completion. A verbal agreement was struck but then the player got married and then he had to enjoy his vacation. That deal featured a €300 million release clause. The club then proceeded to tour the United States and then Neymar happened. The Brazilian controversially parted ways with the club, breaking up the trident, as Paris St Germain matched his €222 million release clause. All the back and forth that followed meant things had to be cooled. All of a sudden Messi’s release clause was a child’s play for any top side that badly wanted him.
And then the search for Neymar’s replacement began. Philippe Coutinho’s bid was rejected four times by Liverpool, and it didn’t look like they would budge any sooner. Ousmane Dembele was acquired in a potential €145 million deal but then his release clause was €400 million.
Barce wanted to renegotiate the release clause of Messi but the player’s camp asked for more money, considering what Neymar was collecting in Paris. Barcelona wanted a €700 million release clause so Messi’s camp forced them to pay more in wages whilst backdating it to the summer. The move came with serious financial implications but Barca would likely have crumbled if Messi said he was leaving.