Gerard Pique confirms Lionel Messi is free to leave Barcelona at the end of the season

Tom HomewoodAssistant Producer
BARCELONA, SPAIN - AUGUST 04: Lionel Messi of Barcelona looks on prior the Joan Gamper Trophy match between FC Barcelona and Arsenal FC at Camp Nou on August 4, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Pablo Morano/MB Media/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - AUGUST 04: Lionel Messi of Barcelona looks on prior the Joan Gamper Trophy match between FC Barcelona and Arsenal FC at Camp Nou on August 4, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Pablo Morano/MB Media/Getty Images)

Lionel Messi can leave Barcelona for free at the end of each season his team-mate Gerard Pique has confirmed.

Despite signing a contract extension to 2021 two-years ago, the 32-year-old has the ability to leave at the end of the season should he wish to do so.

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It has been revealed by El Pais, and confirmed by Pique, but the Spanish international doesn’t expect Messi to move any time soon.

“I already knew Messi is able to leave for free at the end of each season,” Pique told Cadena Ser.

“But we all know the commitment Leo has to Barca and it doesn't worry me at all. He's earned the right to be able to choose what he does with his future after everything he's given the club.”

Pique and Messi have been team-mates at Barcelona for 11 years (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
Pique and Messi have been team-mates at Barcelona for 11 years (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner agreed his current terms in 2017 and it’s also understood the likes of Carles Puyol, Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta had the same clause in their contracts towards the end of their time with the Catalan giants.

Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu has aired his desire to get the Argentinian tied down until he retires from football though, in what would be his 10th contract with Barcelona.

He told ESPN in April: “We would like to renew his contract, that's the idea. He is young - you can see that (in his performances) - and he still has two years on his deal.

“He's always improving, always innovating. I believe he still has many years in front of him and in the coming months we will sit down with him so that he has many more years at Barcelona.

“Messi is a one-club man. It's more than what he does on the pitch - his relationship with Barca will last forever.”

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