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Lionel Messi won’t show for training amid Barcelona exit standoff

Lionel Messi Practice

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi will not show for Monday’s opening training session after missing the coronavirus screening on Sunday, amid an exit standoff. According to Goal, Messi believes his contract with Barcelona is over, hence his decision to skip out on the first official day of training.

Lionel Messi insists his contract has a clause that would allow him to leave for free in the last year. According to Cadena SER’s El Larguero, the release clause of €700 million does not apply for his last season — as there is no date stipulated besides the “end of his optional season.”

The Argentine megastar signed a three-plus-one contract — the three years would keep him at the Camp Nou until 2020 with an option to leave before a deadline date after every season. The “optional” season, which would be 2020-21, requires no deadline, noting Messi can opt-out anytime before the start of the new season.

Barcelona may also find some issues with this when it comes to terminology, which can end in a legal battle on the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in the next few weeks.

Lionel Messi shocked the sports world when he sent a burofax to Barcelona on Tuesday, declaring his intentions to leave the club via that unilateral clause mentioned above. Barcelona and LaLiga have argued this to the teeth, considering the exorbitant losses they stand to suffer is Messi leaves Spanish football for good.

The 33-year-old hoped to meet with the Barcelona board to leave on good terms, but the club had no interest in meeting with Lionel Messi unless it was to renew his contract.

Needless to say, this is only the beginning of a long saga ahead as the best player in LaLiga hopes to make a successful exit and put this past 2019-20 season behind.