Barcelona fear rivals could meet Messi’s €700m release clause

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A top official at the Camp Nou club has described the current market situation as "crazy" and refused to make any guarantees about the future

Lionel Messi’s €700 million release clause may not be big enough to prevent rivals clubs from matching it, Barcelona’s financial and strategy director Pancho Schroder says.

The Argentine committed his future to the club in November after coming perilously close to the time at which he could have started to negotiate with other sides, given his previous deal was up in June 2018.

Included in the fresh terms, which run until 2021, is a €700m release clause designed to put rivals off making a move for the club icon, just as Paris Saint-Germain did to sign Neymar for €222m last August – a fee that many thought was impossible.

“We set up a clause which we think is enough to have Messi retire at FC Barcelona,” Schroder told Sky Sports .

“But having said that, we thought a year ago that the clause for Neymar was also good enough to retain the player, and that proved last summer not to be the case.

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“Looking at the future, I think, is difficult, but I don't have a crystal ball and these days things are getting a little bit crazy.”

Messi has enjoyed another prolific season for the Catalan club and remains as one of the leading pack chasing the European Golden Boot, having netted 24 goals in La Liga so far this term and 32 overall.

Barca are in a strong position to regain the Spanish league title, while they are still in the running for both the Champions League and Copa del Rey. 

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