Spanish giants Barcelona inserted a €700million release clause in superstar Lionel Messi’s new deal, which will extend his stay at the Nou Camp until 2021, as a safety measure to prevent a reoccurence of the embarrassment the club suffered with Neymar Jr’s shock exit to Paris Saint Germain in France.
This is the view of former player and now director Guillermo Amor who said the club needed to protect themselves after learning lessons from the Brazilian’s departure last summer.
“We were never nervous,” he said after his side’s 1-1 draw with Valencia on Sunday.
“Lionel was always very happy at Barca and we want him to retire here, as he wishes.
“We are talking about the clause and with Neymar’s experience we must protect ourselves.”
Messi, 30, finally signed a new deal with the LaLiga leaders after a prolonged speculation with the club insisting a deal had been on since the end of last season.
Paris Saint-Germain paid a world-record €222m – Neymar’s release clause – for the Brazilian in a deal which left bad blood between club and player and Amor, a club great now responsible for Barcelona’s institutional and sporting relations for the first team, said lessons had been learned after Neymar’s departure.