Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has spoken out on Lionel Messi’s exit clause.
El Pais revealed earlier this week that the Argentine superstar has a clause in his contract that lets him leave Camp Nou for nothing at the end of the season.
Messi, under contract in Catalunya until 2021, can rescind his contract at the club with which he has spent the entirety of his professional career, if he sees fit.
However, speaking on Friday, Bartomeu moved to calm concerns.
The Cules’ chief explained it is simply a courtesy that the club extends to its playing legends, with Messi merely the latest.
“Messi signed until 2021. It was agreed that at the end of the penultimate season he is at liberty to leave for free,” the Blaugrana president told Barca TV .
“He has earned that freedom to decide his future, but he is very Cule and I am calm. Xavi, Iniesta and Puyol had the same clause.
“We couldn’t give Messi a different clause, but I repeat, I am in no doubt he will stay for many years.”
Bartomeu’s declaration came after Gerard Pique, the Barca centre-half, had declared himself unconcerned by Messi’s get-out clause.
Pique explained to Cadena Ser that he was already award of the situation, stating: “I already knew Messi is able to leave for free at the end of each season.
“But we all know the commitment Leo has to Barca and it doesn’t worry me at all.
“He’s earned the right to be able to choose what he does with his future after everything he’s given the club.”
Messi is yet to play for Barcelona so far this season due to injury.
He is expected to return to first-team duty in the match with Valencia after the international break.