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Messi's father talks potential Catalan independence exit clause in Barca deal

01:51 GMT+4 06/01/2018
The Argentine star's father said the striker could leave the club if Catalan independence led Barcelona to no longer play in a "competitive league"

Lionel Messi's father has suggested there is a clause in his new contract allowing the forward to leave Barcelona if Catalonia were granted independence and the club could not play in a "competitive league."

The Argentina superstar penned fresh terms at Camp Nou until 2021 in November, with Barca confirming a €700 million release fee had been inserted.

However, reports have emerged that the club's record goalscorer asked for a clause to be included allowing him to depart if Barca were not playing in a top league.

And his father, Jorge, hinted at such an agreement when speaking to Argentine radio station The Red.

"All that has been said is not true," he said.

"There is an agreement that Lionel will remain at the club as long as they are playing in a top league.

"If Catalonia gets independence then Lionel would remain as long as they were in a competitive league."

Messi has 15 La Liga goals this season, with Barca top by nine points from nearest rivals Atletico Madrid.