Messi 'escape clause' expires

LaLiga

There has been a massive development in Lionel Messi's future at FC Barcelona after a contractual clause that would have allowed him to leave for free at the end of the season reportedly expired.

Despite speculation to the contrary, Messi looks set to remain at the Camp Nou for at least another season after reportedly electing not to activate a clause in his contract that would have allowed him to leave for free at the end of the campaign.

READ: Messi: Football will never be the same

Last year, Barca teammate Gerard Pique made the startling revelation that Messi could leave the club for free at the end of the 2019/20 campaign, but the time period for that decision to be made has now elapsed.

It was initially believed that the Argentina international had until 1 June 2020 to inform the Blaugrana of his decision to leave, but according to ESPN, the actual deadline had passed on 30 May. 

Scroll through the gallery below to see where Messi ranks among the world's highest-paid players

READ: 'Messi is above CR7, there's no debate'

That means Messi, who has spent his entire professional career with the Catalan giants, will now seemingly see out the remaining year of his contract with the club before making a decision on his future.

The 32-year-old had been linked with a move away from the club following a fallout with sporting director Eric Abidal and president Josep Maria Bartomeu, and had previously expressed a desire to play for boyhood club Newell Old Boys in Argentina before hanging up his boots.

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