Barcelona are on the verge of signing a massive €220 million sponsorship deal. Barca vice-president Manel Arroyo has recently hit out at claims that the deal was contingent on Argentine striker Lionel Messi remaining at the Camp Nou.
Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten are set to become the biggest shirt sponsors of Barcelona. The two parties are set to agree on a four year deal which will see Barca receive €55 million per season.
There have been rumors that the deal is also dependent on Messi, who is widely considered to be one of the best in the world, staying on at the club. Barca VP Manel Arroyo dismissed these rumors, but also stated that Messi would definitely end his career at the Camp Nou.
“What is certain is that no ‘Messi clause’ exists,” Arroyo said, according to Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo.
“Leo wants to end his sporting career with Barca, as he’s repeated on many occasions. We can’t even think about letting him leave — and we are working for that to be the case.”
There has been a lot of speculation surrounding Lionel Messi of late. It was recently revealed that the 29-year-old striker had refused a contract extension offered to him by Barcelona earlier in the summer. Needless to say, this sparked a slew of transfer rumors involving the Argentine maestro.
This is not the first time there has been talk of Messi leaving the club where he’s spent his entire professional career. Earlier this year, the Argentine was being linked with a move to the Premier League after being handed a 21 month jail sentence by a Spanish court on charges of tax fraud.
All things considered, things don’t look particularly rosy for Lionel Messi off the pitch at Camp Nou. Despite his blistering form on the field, the constant controversy surrounding him is sure to have a detrimental effect on the Argentine.
The tax fraud case has already wounded Messi, and if the rumors claiming he rejected a contract extension are true, then he could be preparing to move away from his boyhood club Barcelona.