Bartomeu Says Messi's New Barcelona Contract Was Already Signed by Star's Father
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has claimed that Lionel Messi's new contract, the subject of much uncertainty in recent weeks, has been active since 30th June and is already in the club's accounts for last season after it was signed by the player's father.
Barcelona announced the new contract in early July. It was stated as 'agreed', but it later became apparent that Messi himself still hadn't put pen to paper on the deal several weeks later.
After speculation that Messi could turn his back on the club and quit Camp Nou because he hasn't actually signed, Bartomeu has told Sport that the deal was signed by his Jorge Messi on his behalf.
"It's all agreed and signed," the president explained.
"There are three contracts. One with the Messi Foundation, which is signed with the president of the Foundations and the player's brother. There's an image rights contract with Messi, which is father has signed, who is the administrator of his company, and the employment contract, with his father has signed, who has the power to do so," he added.
All that Barcelona are waiting for now, Bartomeu says, is for Messi to put his own name on it and for official photographs to be taken.
"The contract's signed, it's valid from the month of June, from June 30, the same day that he got married, curiously. It's been audited because it goes into the accounts for last season. The renewal is included in the accounts for the closing of this season.
"There are no problems. It's just the protocol of the signature. We're relaxed."
In further separate comments published by Sport, Bartomeu also addressed why Messi's buyout clause is only €300m, now seen by some as potentially being low hanging fruit after Paris Saint-Germain actually triggered Neymar's at €222m early last month.
To compare, Cristiano Ronaldo's clause at Real Madrid is set at €1 billion.
"We have a different way of being to other clubs," Bartomeu explained.
"We think that the player is here to play and perform. It doesn't matter if the clause is 500, 600, 1000 or 1500 million euros, we can put any clause that we want because if a player wants to leave, we will have to sit down and speak about how we will do it.
"That's what we missed with Neymar. If we'd done it that way, it would have been better for everyone."