LaLiga have hit back at Lionel Messi's agent after it was claimed that the six-time Ballon d'Or winner's release clause was no longer valid.
On Thursday afternoon, Messi's father, Jorge, who is also his agent, released a letter denying the validity of €700 million (R1.3 billion) release clause in the player's contract, which had previously been validated by the league.
LaLiga have since hit back with an immediate response in which they reiterate that the clause remains valid and that Messi will not be allowed to leave Barcelona unless the release clause is activated (or with the expressed consent of the club).
"From LaLiga, we have issued a response to the message sent from the environment of the player Leo Messi," the statement said.
"This said response [from Messi] reveals and confirms that the interpretation has been decontextualized and that it is far from the literal nature of the contract. LaLiga reiterate the statement released on August 30."
The full statement (from 30 August) to which LaLiga refer to can be read below:
"In relation to the different interpretations (some of them contradictory to each other) published in recent days in different media, related to the contractual situation of the player Lionel Andrés Messi with FC Barcelona, LaLiga wishes to clarify that with regards to the player's contract with his club:
"The contract is currently in force and has a "termination clause" applicable to the event that Lionel Andrés Messi decides to activate the early unilateral termination of the contract, carried out in accordance with article 16 of Royal Decree 1006/1985, of June 26, which regulates the special employment relationship of professional athletes.
"In compliance with the applicable regulations, and following the corresponding procedure in these cases, LaLiga will not carry out the prior visa process for the player to be removed from the federation if they have not previously paid the amount of said clause."
Scroll through the gallery below for images of the players with the biggest release clauses at Barcelona