First things first, people. Lionel Messi is not going anywhere...any time soon, at least.
According to reports from Diario Gol, the Argentinian superstar is pushing for an escape clause in his new contract with FC Barcelona that would allow him to leave for Newell's Old Boys – his boyhood club in Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina – presumably sometime in the future.
According to Diario Gol, Messi's latest contract negotiation hinges not on a dollar amount, but instead the inclusion of this escape clause. Every La Liga contract contains a mandatory buy-out clause, but typically the agreed upon fee is set at such an astronomically high rate that no club would ever activate it. In this case, it's likely Messi's team is pushing for a clause that would actually allow the Argentinian to return to his home country to end his career for a much more reasonable sum.
Born in Rosario, Messi played with Newell's Old Boys from an early age, as evidenced by this player registration card dated March 30, 1994, when he was only 7 years old.
— East Curly (@Saint_Zarus) January 21, 2014
In subsequent years, Messi made it a not-so-hidden secret that he would like to bookend his career by returning to the club where it all started.
Messi joined Barcelona at 13 years old directly from Newell's Old Boys' youth system, so capping his career back in Rosario would be a nice finish for one of the world's greats.