Lionel Messi will play in the Premier League for three years before moving to Major League Soccer side New York City after 'agreeing a five-year contract' with City Football Group (CFG), according to reports.
After nearly two decades at the Camp Nou, the 33-year-old told officials last week that he no longer sees his future at Barca.
It was believed that Messi and his team were convinced that he could activate a clause in his contract to leave the club on a free, but it was later revealed that his €700 million release clause is still valid, despite rumours it had expired.
The news must have come as a bitter blow to Manchester City, who reportedly had an agreement on the numbers of the transfer' in place, with several leading journalists claiming the Blues were best-placed to sign the Argentine.
But despite the news surrounding his clause, it is now being reported that Messi has agreed financial terms worth £623 million (€700 million) with Manchester City and New York City's holding company City Football Group (CFG), according to the Daily Record.
The deal would involve the six-time Ballon d'Or winner spending three years in the Premier League with former manager Pep Guardiola before eventually spending the rest of his five-year deal playing in Major League Soccer.
City Football Group, who also own A-League side Melbourne City, have furthermore offered Messi an equity stake in CFG as part of his compensation package, although he may prefer a cash offer as there are 'compilcations' involved in the valuation of shares.
Of course, La Liga have recently backed Barcelona's insistence of a €700 million buyout clause still being active, so Messi is still a Barcelona player until 2021, according to his contract.
"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, La Liga wishes to clarify that with regards to the player's contract with his club," the statement reads.
"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."
Official statement by La Liga. They side with Barcelona in Leo Messi contract battle: "Current deal is still valid and paying release clause for €700m is the only way out".- Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 30, 2020
Manchester City are still waiting for Barça decision. :large_blue_circle: #MCFC pic.twitter.com/p15IWcBRMg
Will Lionel Messi leave Barcelona this season? Would he be a success in the Premier League?
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