It’s been well reported that footballing icon Lionel Messi is looking for an exit from Barcelona, and fans of VfB Stuttgart have made an audacious attempt to provide it by trying to pay his €900m release clause through GoFundMe.
It looks likely that six-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi is on his way out of Camp Nou, after becoming frustrated with the Barca board and telling top brass he will not be turning up for new manager Ronald Koeman’s first training session on Monday.
However, the club have remained adamant the Argentine legend will not be leaving without the €900 million ($833 million) release clause in his contract being paid, backed up by the Spanish league.
On god this is the best thing I’ve seen all day. pic.twitter.com/yb5WYPS0Yt
Money bags Manchester City are looking favorites to sign the Argentine legend, but now a competitor in the market has emerged in the shape of newly-promoted Bundesliga side VfB Stuttgart.
“We VfB fans are collecting money to pay for Lionel Messi’s transfer,”the plucky page description reads. The long shot is not entirely without self-awareness and is made a little tongue-in-cheek, as in the (highly likely) event the entire amount is not raised, any proceeds will go to charity.
“In the event that the planned amount is not reached on time or Lionel Messi joins another club, 100% of the money raised will be donated to Viva con Agua.”
Viva con Agua is a charity that exists to establish access to clean drinking water and basic sanitation for all humans worldwide, based in the St. Pauli area of Hamburg.
La Liga recently confirmed the release clause in Messi’s contract remains valid and must be honored in the event of any transfer, meaning it could be unlikely any club will be tempted to make a move for Barca’s greatest ever player any time soon.
Messi’s current contract, which he signed in 2017, contains a clause that would have allowed him to leave the Catalan side for free if he had put in an official request by June 10. That date has expired, although Messi representatives have argued COVID-19 restrictions make the clause itself invalid.
The player’s father and representative Jorge is expected to land in Catalonia any time from his native Rosario to iron out the details with Barca head honchos and oversee any negotiations about his exit.