Barcelona have threatened legal action after the contract demands from Lionel Messi, before he left for PSG, were leaked by a Spanish outlet.
Messi’s departure from Barcelona in 2021 came as a shock to football, but just a year earlier the forward had already dropped the bombshell that he wanted to leave.
That was following the club’s battering in the Champions League by Bayern Munich and he believed he could leave the club for free, due to an agreement in his contract, but later found out that he had to pay his release clause.
Please go to https://www.xtra.net for breaking news, videos, and the latest top stories in Nigeria & world news, business, politics, sports and pop culture.
Before that decision to leave however, the seven time Ballon d’Or winner had been negotiating a new deal to stay at the Nou Camp beyond 2021.
Details of those negotiations were leaked by El Mundo this week, with reports of nine extraordinary demands, including the virtual elimination of a release clause.
However, the club are not happy that the details have come out, claiming that the leaked information was part of a judicial procedure and have threatened legal action.
“In relation to the information published in El Mundo under the title ‘Barca Leaks, the club’s secret files’, Barcelona express indignation at the intentional leaking of information that is part of a legal process,” the Spanish giants said in a statement.
“The club regrets that the media in question boasts of having ‘access to a huge number of documents and emails that are part of the Barcagate investigation’ when this information is yet to be shared.
“In any case, the article in question makes public documents that have nothing to do with the ongoing case and their use is an affront to the reputation and confidentiality of the club.
“For that reason, and with the aim of protecting Barcelona’s rights, the club’s legal department are studying the legal measures that need to be taken.”
Reportedly the leaks came from emails between Messi’s representative, and father, Jorge, his legal team and Barcelona’s representatives, including former president Josep Bartomeu.
Barca only rejected two of the requests, but it was enough for the 35-year-old to reject the chance to continue his career at the Nou Camp.
That was for him to return to his pre Covid wages, having taken a pay cut, along with the rest of the squad, during the no football and behind closed doors periods.
Barca never would have been able to pay those wages due to their well documented financial problems, which eventually caused them to lose their former captain.
The other request that was rejected was for his release clause to be reduced to just £8,700, which would have made it very easy for him to leave.
Messi didn’t have a good first season with PSG, following his departure from the Nou Camp, but he’s really got into his groove at the beginning of the new campaign.
His personal highlights from last weekend’s win against Lyon suggest he’s back to his best, and his partnerships with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe are looking good.