The dwindling financial situation of FC Barcelona is about to be compounded as the club will have to pay Lionel Messi a loyalty bonus that has been computed at £30million (€33million) next summer even if he leaves the club.
Although the rumour mill has it that the legendry footballer will still link up with his former coach, Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, his future with Barcelona still remains uncertain.
His current contract with the club expires in June 2021. That will put an end to a four-year contract he signed in 2017. Among other things, the contract included a £60million (€66million) loyalty bonus.
He reportedly received half of that bonus in February and he is set to receive the second half when his contract expires, irrespective of whether he remains at Barcelona.
If Messi had left Barcelona earlier this year then he would have given up the second half of the bonus.
The 33-year-old submitted a transfer request and was heavily linked with a reunion with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, but ended up staying at the LaLiga club.
Barcelona are struggling financially due to the coronavirus pandemic and need to knock £170million (€190million) off their wage bill.
The club are in discussions over wage deferrals with a number of employees, including the first-team squad.
So far this season Messi has scored six goals and provided four assists across ten appearances.