Former Barcelona president Joan Gaspart believes that Lionel Messi cannot force his way out of the club, despite his push to quit the Camp Nou club.
The former Blaugrana president stressed that the Argentine’s contract underlines that he only had until June to trigger his unilateral release clause.
Gaspart is of the view that the club is in charge and not Messi, the captain has asked the club to release him from his contract.
Messi, 33, has a release clause of € 700m and must be paid in full if the player must leave Camp Nou.
“[Messi] cannot leave,” Gaspart told Radio MARCA.
“He will have to leave in 2021.
“I have seen the contract and it is very clear.
“The clause ended in June and there is no going back.
“I prefer him to leave next year for zero than to go now for less than 700m euros.
“The club is in charge here, not the player.
“The club paid the players.
“And this is not a matter of money, there is a signed contract and that’s it.”
Gaspart also spoke of how he loves the club more than any player.
“I love Messi very much, but I love Barcelona more,” he continued.
“Let the clause be paid.
Messi’s situation is monitored by the top clubs in Europe with the likes of Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Inter Milan.