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Lionel Messi could be free to move to Manchester City already in January if Barcelona press ahead with another round of staff pay cuts.
The Catalan club forced their players to take a 70 per cent deduction in their wages at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, with fresh negotiations now set to take place.
Messi was angered by the way the club chiefs approached the previous cuts and that was one of the factors which contributed to him requesting to leave the club this summer.
Barcelona managed to keep hold of their captain due to a clause in Messi’s contract meaning he cannot leave until it expires in June.
But, according to Spanish outlet Marca, there may now be another option available to Messi. It is reported that the Blaugranas are looking to implement more pay cuts, with each department at the club now asked to vote for a representative to discuss terms on their behalf.
The club have given 15 days for a rep to be allocated, with negotiations then expected to last around a month, taking us up to the end of November. Marca then claim that Barcelona staff are protected by law based on article 41 of the Workers’ Statute – a clause which professional athletes have used previously to terminate their own contract.
Such a scenario would allow Messi to tear up his Barcelona contract in January, or wait until June when his deal expires anyway.
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