Lionel Messi has reportedly told Barcelona to insert a bizarre release clause in his new contract that would allow him to leave whenever he pleases.
The megastar forward is still yet to put pen to paper on the new deal that has supposedly been in place since October, and Diario Gol has claimed that it is this new demand from Messi that is holding up any official confirmation.
The revelation comes just three days after Messi hinted that he would love to play for Newell's Old Boys in his native Argentina before he hangs up his boots, and adds further fuel to the fire that the 30-year-old won't spend his entire playing career in Catalonia.
Barcelona are believed to have offered Messi a lifetime contract - similar to the deal that fellow Barca legend Andres Iniesta signed in early October - that would tie him down until he retires from professional football.
However, the protracted nature of Messi's new deal has taken an unexpected twist this week after he explained why it would be a dream to head back to his homeland and feature for Newell's before he calls time on his amazing career.
Lionel Messi: "I would like to play for Newell's but the truth is that I don't know what could happen." pic.twitter.com/OFIZtMzOwZ— ᵁᴸᵀᴿᴬ® (@UltraAutistic) November 8, 2017
Messi told Ole that he would "love it" if he could turn out for the Santa Fe-based club in the future but failed to offer up a timeframe of when he would like to do so.
He said: "I still have to play in Newell's and that is my dream. But, as I was saying recently, I do not know what will happen a few years from now or how I will be to come back.
"I would love it and I always said it but I hope I can continue at this level to get back to Newell's because it's what I dreamed since I was little."
Messi was snapped up by Newell's as a six-year-old back in 1994 before Barcelona's famed La Masia academy plucked him from Rosario in July 2000, and has since gone on to become one of the most lauded players of all time.