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Messi has a special clause in his contract .

Lionel Messi has a special release clause in his Barcelona contract

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Lionel Messi has dazzled once again this season in spite of Barcelona's mixed start.

The Argentine has already scored 11 times in all competitions and could be on course for a record sixth Ballon d'Or in just under two months' time.

The 31-year-old just doesn't seem to be slowing up and while Ernesto Valverde has made several moves attempting to build for the future, it looks like he'll be able to rely upon the world's greatest for some time yet.

From elsewhere in La Liga comes the cautionary tale of Real Madrid, who are struggling for goals in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo, who they failed to adequately replace following his move to Juventus.

The thought of Messi leaving the Nou Camp therefore ought to send shivers down spines at Catalonia, but it's rarely been a pressing issue despite constant speculation throughout his career.

According to Mundo Deportivo, however, the Blaugrana are now keen for him to sign a new contract to keep him committed until 2022, with the option of an extension until 2023. Talks aren't likely to commence until next season.

The Spanish newspaper has it that Messi has a previously unknown clause - a 'special exit clause' - in his current deal that could see him leave for nothing at the end of 2019/20 - but only on the condition that he joins a 'non-elite' club.

Lionel Messi has already scored 11 times this season

It would allow him to follow in the footsteps of Xavi and Andres Iniesta, who headed to Qatar and Japan respectively.

Whatever the forward decides will ultimately be respected. He has previously stated a desire to return to his boyhood club, Newell's Old Boys, though he has also suggested he could hang up his boots at Barcelona.

There should be little cause for alarm as Messi would surely only move on if he was no longer at his best - and that looks quite a way off yet.

Will Messi ever leave Barcelona? Have your say in the comments. 

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Topics:
Football
Ernesto Valverde
Barcelona
Lionel Messi

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