Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi reportedly has a clause in his new contract allegedly stipulating that he can leave the club for free if Catalunya formally secedes from Spain and Barça no longer find themselves playing in one of Europe's top leagues.

The claim comes from Spanish newspaper El Mundo, with the suggestion wanted assurances over what would happen in the event of an independent Catalan state.


As such, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner is said to have insisted on a clause that will see him continue playing for Barcelona should a Catalan secession from Spain happen, but only on the condition that the club is playing in a top European league - England, Germany, France, Italy.

Spain's La Liga falls under that bracket, but current legislation would apparently make it impossible for Barça to continue playing Spanish league football as a 'foreign' club.

There has been talk in recent months of England's Premier League, ever looking for further money making opportunities, inviting Barcelona to join. Exactly how feasible that would be remains to be seen, especially after years of talk about Scottish giants Celtic and Rangers moving south of the border to England resulted in hypothetical 'what ifs' at most.


Assuming this clause really does exist and Barça genuinely do leave La Liga without joining another top league - playing in a new Catalan division alongside Espanyol, Girona and others, for example - then Messi could become the world's most sought after free agent.

Even the vague possibility that one of the greatest players of all time could be looking for a new club in the relatively near future will more than likely send tabloid speculation, especially in England where Messi has often been linked with Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea at various points in the past, into ridiculous overdrive.

It would come down to which club could afford to pay his huge wages and offer the most attractive signing bonus in lieu of an actual formal transfer fee.