Barcelona 'will have to pay Lionel Messi £30m loyalty bonus' even if he leaves on free transfer

BARCELONA will have to pay Lionel Messi a £30million loyalty bonus at the end of the season even if he leaves, reports say.

The Argentine legend's contract expires in the summer, meaning he can walk away from the club for nothing.

And he could do so £30m richer as part of the deal he signed in 2017, according to ESPN.

The contract he penned three years ago is said to have included a £60m loyalty bonus.

And Messi was already paid half of that back in February, with the rest due when his contract expires in June.

It means he will receive the money regardless of where he is playing his football next season.

Messi tried to force his way out of the Nou Camp this summer after handing in a transfer request.

He believed his contract allowed him to leave for free at the end of each season.

But the Spanish giants argued that the stipulation expired in the summer, even though the season was extended amid the coronavirus pandemic.

As Messi did not want to take his boyhood club to court, he decided to commit his future to Barca.

Manchester City are among those linked with the forward, who ex-Barca midfielder Luis Figo feels has already made up his mind about his future.

Figo said: “I watched the thing with Messi and his attempt to leave Barcelona this summer like all football fans: expectantly and surprised.

“He’ll have his motives and reasons for making that decision. I don’t know what happened beforehand.

"Every club wants to have a player like Messi, but then it depends on factors like the current financial situation at the club, the money he’ll cost the club in wages, the will of the player…

“But generally, in life, if you don’t want to be somewhere, in the end there’s nothing that can change your mind.”

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