Lionel Messi and Manchester City have agreed personal terms for a transfer that would mean the Barcelona legend would leave the Catalan giants for the first time in his professional career, according to an Argentine journalist.
While an agreement between the buying club and player is an important step, a deal between the selling club and buying club has not been reached.
City would be able to get him should the Argentine exercise a clause in his contract that allows him to leave for free at any point between seasons. The issue is that the clause specifies dates which correspond to the off-season in normal times, but the entire football calendar has shifted because of the coronavirus break, so that the dates no longer correspond with the off-season.
If a judge does not side with Messi, who reportedly argues that the intent of the contract rather than the letter of it should be followed, then City would have to find an agreement with Barcelona for the sale.
Barcelona could point to Messi’s release clause, which is set at 700 million euro, something that no club can realistically afford after the pandemic and due to FFP rules.
However, a third option exists: a negotiated sale with a sticker price between (for example) 100 and 200 million that both parties can live with.