The Blaugrana have denied having any involvement within the sharing publicly of the terms of the Argentine’s current deal within the Spanish media
Barcelona says they’re able to take action after the publication of the small print of Lionel Messi’s €555 million (£491m/$674m) contract.
Spanish newspaper El Mundo leaked documents revealing the terms of Messi’s current deal at Camp Nou, which is thanks to expire at the top of June.
Their report states that the four-year agreement, which Argentina signed in 2017, includes fixed incomes and bonus payments which amount to €138m (£112m/$167m) in annual earnings.
Messi has already pocketed €510m (£452m/$619m), with an extra €45m (£40m/$55m) set to return his over subsequent six months, with El Mundo claiming that the 33-year-old is that the best-paid athlete within the history of professional sport.
The club captain has been tipped to bring his 17-year career at Camp Nou to an end this summer, with Barca reportedly unable to continue paying his lucrative wages amid mounting debts exceeding over €1.2 billion.
Blaugrana officials have now announced their intention to sue El Mundo for releasing Messi’s contract to the general public without their permission while condemning attempts to defame Messi’s character and image.
“Because of the knowledge published today within the newspaper El Mundo, concerning the professional contract signed between FC Barcelona and therefore the player Lionel Messi, the club regrets its publication as long as it’s a personal document governed by the principle of confidentiality between the parties,” a press release on Barca’s official website reads.
“FC Barcelona categorically denies any responsibility for the publication of this document and can take appropriate action against the newspaper El Mundo, for any damage which will be caused as a results of this publication.
“FC Barcelona expresses its absolute support for Lionel Messi, especially within the face of any plan to discredit his image, and to wreck his relationship with the entity where he has worked to become the simplest player within the world and football history.”
Messi was denied a transfer last summer after he decided to activate the discharge clause in his contract, with the Argentina international eventually pledging to remain put for the duration of the 2020-21 campaign out of his love for Barca and their fans.
However, speculation over his future has only increased since then, and although the six-time Ballon d’Or winner has been linked with the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City, he has also opened the door to a possible switch to MLS before hanging up his boots.