World football has been turned upside down by one of the best footballers in the world named Lionel Messi.  has demanded to leave Barcelona by activating a clause in his contract that would allow him to leave on a free transfer. The 33-year-old has sent a fax to Barcelona communicating his intention to leave behind the club he’s played at for 20 years.

Although his contract is set to expire at the end of the 2020-21 season, Messi and his legal team believe the clause will allow him to terminate his deal unilaterally.

It is all about the clause that has triggered the exit of the Argentine and Barcelona hierarchy and co are pondering over the matter.

What is the clause?

In September last year, it emerged that a clause in Messi’s contract allowed him to unilaterally leave the club at the end of each season.

The clause was inserted due to a hefty buyout package, which would make a normal transfer unaffordable for most clubs. However, as per the contract, Messi is liable to inform the club on or before May 31, the date when a football contract generally ends worldwide, as it marks the end of a season.

Why is Messi triggering it now?

According to Marca, Messi has triggered this clause at this point of time because of the prevailing Covid-19 situation, which has severely altered all contracts.

This year, because of the pandemic, the football season did not end by May 31. Barcelona were leading the Spanish League, which had been suspended, and still in contention in the Champions League, where they had drawn the first leg of their quarterfinal with Napoli 1-1. Now that the season is officially over, Messi has triggered the clause.

The request of Messi is belated, and whether Barca would accept it or not remains a moot question

According to the Associated Press, the Barca hierarchy have confirmed they have received the request from Messi. However, according to Spanish media, the club is likely to examine the legality of Messi’s belated request.

Barca deny to accept the request of Messi, then what will happen?

In such a scenario, Messi will have the option to put in a transfer request. Marca reported that last Friday he spoke to Barcelona’s new coach Ronald Koeman. and has already shared his intentions. Once Messi officially asks for a move to another club, the buyout clause will come into play.

In football, a buyout clause in a contract indicates an asking price set, which if met in a transfer bid, must be accepted by the club. In Messi’s case, the release clause is set at 700 million euros. That means, if a club manages to cough up that much money, Barcelona will be obliged to sell the player.

Will the transfer of Messi happen?

This is not the first time that the rumours of Messi leaving Barcelona cropped, but we have experienced such in the past as well. This time around, the scenario has been rather dramatic.

There are suggestions that this could be to drive out Barca President Bartomeu from the club before next year’s elections.

It must be noted that even with Argentina, Messi had ‘retired’ after developing differences with the country’s federation. He made a U-turn and returned to the international fold after changes in the higher management.

Again, there remains a big question of which club might buy him.

Various sources sharing their speculative thoughts but after the COVID-19 Pandemic, the financial status of many clubs, except few, such Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City, Inter etc. suffered a telling blow.

It won’t be easier to manage such amount of money for a 33-year-old, rather clubs would be interested to invest in young guns and build for the future.

The Messi-leaving-Barcelona-drama is still on.

Let us wait and watch the outcome.