Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi left Barcelona last summer, but he is still being linked with the club in one way or the other. While the majestic forward is tipped with a potential move back to Camp Nou next summer, new details of him demanding a contract extension back in 2020 have emerged. Barcelona had already extended their all-time top scorer then, with a three-year contract which expired last summer.

As the Covid crisis sent shock waves across the world, football clubs too suffered heavy losses. As a result, they asked their players to take significant wage cuts in order to sustain the losses. In the same vein, Barca too asked the Argentine to renegotiate his contract and sign an extension at the same time. However, he did lay some conditions in front of the club which have been revealed by El Mundo now.

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi’s demands to extend at Barcelona back in 2020 also included clauses for his best friend Luis Suarez. Credits: Twitter

Lionel Messi’s list of lucrative demands reportedly led to his exit

Barcelona were eager to tie down Lionel Messi to a new contract, as rumours of the winger being unhappy at the club were doing rounds. The Argentina international was reportedly disappointed with the club administration who first sold his close friend Neymar to PSG for a whopping €222 million, and then failed to bring in an apt replacement. Further on, the club’s debacles in the UEFA Champions League against Roma and Liverpool added to Messi’s miseries who was unable to lift the trophy after last winning it in 2015.

Nonetheless, he still felt at home in the Catalan city and was ready to pen an extension. However, he made some stunning demands in order to put pen to paper. First and foremost, the financial aspects; Lionel Messi wanted a €10 million signing-on bonus and a three-year deal with an option for a further year. Furthermore, a 10% increase every year in his €75 million salary package, on top of which an annual interest of 3% should also be paid.

Barca have a habit of inserting massive release clauses in the contracts of their crucial players, as Messi’s too had a €650 million bound. The seven-time Ballon d’Or asked to demolish the same, and insert a nominal clause of €10,000 so that he can leave for free whenever he chose to. The list now went on to personal aspects as he demanded a private jet for him and his family to travel to Argentina every Christmas. A luxurious VIP box for his family as well as his best friend Luis Suarez’s family at the Camp Nou rounded-off the list.

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi finally had to leave his beloved Barca last summer due to their poor financial conditions as PSG acquired him for free. Credits: Twitter

The entire package reportedly touched €560 million, which the Spanish giants were even ready to give into. However, they went against the signing-on bonus and release clause demands made by their no.10. That caused a rift between the club and the 35-year-old, which further intensified after they sold Suarez to Atletico Madrid. Messi allegedly started looking at new options by the summer of 2020, only for making a U-turn on his decision.

The forward was ready to extend at Camp Nou beyond 2021, but things had taken a wrong turn. Barcelona were unbale to register Leo owning to their deep financial troubles, and had to let go him for free. The heart-broken Argentine, who just had won his first major international trophy with his country at Copa America had to leave his boyhood club. Paris Saint-Germain quickly made moves and roped in the playmaker for free on a two-year deal with option for another.

Lionel Messi had a underwhelming start to life in France in his debut season, but finally seems to be settle at his new home. The forward has racked up 5 goals and 8 assists in just 10 gams so far at Parc des Princes. He is now looking forward to lead Argentina in the FIFA World Cup this year, which could also be his last ever appearance at the tournament. Messi is then reported to make a decision on his future in Paris.