Lionel Messi
File photo of Lionel Messi

FC Barcelona reported to offer their talisman, Lionel Messi, a lifetime contract at the club.

Messi’s current contract will run into its final year next season, and a clause in his contract will allow the player to leave Barcelona, provided he informs before May.

Talking to BarcaTV, Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu confirmed the existence of the clause in a statement on Friday:

“Leo Messi has a contract through to the 2020/21 season, but the player is able to leave Barca before the final season.”

“It’s the same case as with the final contracts that Xavi, (Carles) Puyol and (Andres) Iniesta had. They are players who deserve that liberty, and we shouldn’t worry, as they are very committed to Barca.”

“We want Messi to play for Barca through to 2021 and beyond. We are very calm.”

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique had also previously spoken about the clause and said that Messi had done enough to decide his own future though he was confident of the Argentine not leaving the club.

“I already knew that Messi could go for free at end of each season,” Pique had told El Larguero. “We know the commitment Leo has with Barca and it doesn’t worry me at all. He has earned the right to decide his future.”

Though it is highly unlikely that Messi would part ways with the Spanish club where he played his entire football, Barcelona are reported to be offering the Argentine a lifetime contract with the club.

The reports from Mundo Deportivo also suggested that if Messi were to hang up his boots from professional football out of Catalonia, it would be in the MLS or in the Newell’s Old Boys and not anywhere in Europe.

If there is any need to reiterate the importance of Messi to Barcelona, they went into the international break having just won one match in the season so far out of three games with the absence of the Argentine owing to injury.

Messi is however expected to return to action in the upcoming home game against Valencia.