With transfer fees rising to ridiculous levels in modern day football, it would come as no surprise if no club felt entirely safe in keeping their best players. Barcelona feel the same.
That’s according to the club’s financial and strategy director Pancho Schroder, who spoke to Sky Sports about Lionel Messi and the confidence at the Nou Camp over seeing the Argentine icon end his career with them.
Given he’s bagged a sensational 539 goals in 624 appearances for the club, which had led to eight La Liga titles and four Champions League trophies among many more, Messi has undoubtedly left his mark on the Catalan giants and wrote his name into club folklore.
Further, despite turning 31 later this year, he’s still proving that he’s got plenty left in the tank as he’s scored 32 goals and provided 16 assists in 41 appearances in all competitions so far this season to lead by example yet again with the La Liga title, Copa del Rey and Champions League still on offer.
While Pancho was simply being realistic, Barcelona would surely do everything they could to ensure that the forward doesn’t move on before he decides to hang his boots up.
“We set up a clause which we think is enough to have Messi retire at FC Barcelona,” he said, as per Sky Sports.
“But having said that, we thought a year ago that the clause for Neymar was also good enough to retain the player, and that proved last summer not to be the case. Looking at the future, I think, is difficult, but I don’t have a crystal ball and these days things are getting a little bit crazy.”
As per BBC Sport, Neymar opted to join Paris Saint-Germain last summer, with the Parisian giants splashing out a new world-record fee of €222m for the Brazilian international.
That top figure continues to rise almost year-on-year it seems, and while it is still unrealistic for a club to splash out £625m for a player, even if it is Messi, Barca would appear keen to remain cautious about the future.