Messi deal has €700m get-out clause

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Barcelona have inserted a €700million release clause into Lionel Messi’s new contract – to prevent a repeat of Neymar’s departure from the Nou Camp.

The La Liga leaders announced on Saturday that Messi has penned a new deal at Barcelona, which will see him remain at the club until 2021 and potentially end his career there.

Barca have signalled that they have no intention of letting Messi leave by putting a huge release clause in the Argentina international’s deal – more than twice as much as the €300m figure which Paris St-Germain met to land Neymar last summer.

Manager Ernesto Valverde said: “I am not an expert in clauses, over time you know if they are high or not, but if we see what has happened with Neymar, I guess everything goes around.

“People said no-one would ever pay that and they did.”

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu added that the club took into account the changing face of football’s finances, before offering the terms to Messi.

“It’s a new contract that we have signed today, because although the one we signed in June was up to par with his greatness as a player, the new one is more in line with the current situation in the ever-changing world of football,” he said.

“The buy-out clause had to be modified, and it has gone from €300m to €700m.”