Barcelona have told Lionel Messi the only way he can legally leave the Nou Camp for free, ESPN reports.
The condition given by the LaLiga giants to Messi is if he chooses not to play any football next season.
Barca’s interpretation of the much-debated clause in Messi’s deal is that he could depart, but would have to forgo his wages for a season.
Also, the Argentina international would not sign for a new club until next summer, when his existing terms are due to expire.
The 33-year-old is attempting to trigger a clause in the contract he signed in 2017, that allows him to leave for free at the end of each season.
Barca has argued that the deadline for activating the clause expired in June.
Messi’s lawyers continue to argue that he’s already unilaterally rescinded his contract with the Spanish club.
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The Barca captain refused to show up for the start of pre-season on Sunday, but LaLiga insisted Messi’s €700 million buyout clause remains active.