Barcelona believe the only way Lionel Messi can leave freely, is if he chooses not to play any football next season, according to ESPN reports.

OnyxNews Nigeria understands that the Spanish club’s interpretation of the much-debated clause in Messi’s deal, is that he could leave, but would have to forgo his pay for a season.

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Also, he would not sign for a new club until next summer, when his existing terms are due to expire.

The 33-year-old is attempting to trigger a clause in the contract he signed in 2017, that allows him to leave for free at the end of each season.

Barca has argued that the deadline for activating the clause expired in June.

Messi’s legal team continue to argue that he’s already unilaterally rescinded his contract with the club.

The player himself refused to show up for the start of pre-season on Sunday, but LaLiga insisted Messi’s €700 million buyout clause remains active.

Meanwhile, Prophet TB Joshua has issued advised to Lionel Messi against leaving Barcelona.

OnyxNews Nigeria reports that the founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, SCOAN, Prophet TB Joshua has warned the Barcelona captain against leaving Camp Nou amid interest from Manchester City.

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