Amid all the speculation surrounding Lionel Messi’s new contract and if and when he might actually sign it, an interesting detail has emerged, the small matter of his release clause.
According to numerous reports all over Europe today, the clause in his new contact is reportedly €300m.
Obviously that’s an awful lot of money, particularly for a 30-year-old, but as we have seen this summer, it might not be out of reach, and after all this is no ordinary 30-year-old we’re talking about either.
Let’s face it nobody expected anyone to activate Neymar’s €222m release clause, until Paris Saint-Germain did, and then they also went and added Kylian Mbappe too.
While Uefa has since announced they will investigate the Parisiens over possible breaches of FFP, the club have responded to say they are confident they have complied.
We await the outcome but either way, this summer’s events only highlight how a release clause of €300m, might not be viewed as completely out of the question.
Unlike say, the release clauses of Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema, both set at a rather eye-watering €1 billion.
According to reports Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez and Luka Modric also have a higher release clauses than Messi.
So why is Messi’s not out of reach? Well, Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has attempted to explain it.
“Barça will never make a player stay if he tells us he wants to leave, as happens in other clubs in Europe,” he said.
“We have a different way of being to other clubs. We thing that the player here, to play and to perform. It doesn’t matter if the clause is 500, 600, 1000 or 1500 million euros, we can put any clause that we want because if a player wants to leave, we will have to sit down and speak about how we will do it.
“That’s what we missed with Neymar. If we’d done it that way, it would have been better for everyone.”
After being powerless to prevent Neymar leaving, you would be forgiven for thinking Barca might have ensured players’ buyout clauses were sky high, it seems that is not the case though.