Former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon has praised the "priceless" talents of Lionel Messi, but doesn't believe any club will be prepared to pay his €700m release clause.
In his 20-year association with Barcelona, Messi is now the closest he has ever been to leaving the club after sending a fax to officials on Tuesday requesting that he be let out of his contract.
He currently has a €700m release clause, having previously had a clause in his contract which allowed him to leave for free which allegedly expired at the end of May.
However, Messi is arguing that, because the season was extended due to the coronavirus pandemic, the clause remains active.
Calderon believes that Barcelona will not be caught out in the same way that Real Madrid were when Cristiano Ronaldo left for €100m to Juventus.
"Obviously, I would be enthusiastic if I was the president of any club who can sign [Messi]," Calderon told Stats Perform News.
"It is true he is 33, but I am sure he has still three or four years at his best level ahead of him.
"Having said that, how can you pay for him? Real Madrid gave a gift selling Cristiano Ronaldo for €100m because he is showing he is still really valuable and will be for another couple of years.
"I don't know – [the fee] is something that has to be fixed. I am sure nobody will pay €700m, but that will not be the point.
"I am also sure Messi will try to get any fee for Barcelona. How many million? I honestly don't know.
"The club who sign him will be lucky but also will have a huge salary to be paid. He really deserves it, though. The value he adds to a team is priceless."
Calderon believes that, whatever the outcome, it will not be an unceremonious parting of ways between the six-time Ballon d'Or winner and the club.
"I am pretty sure they will reach a friendly agreement," the former Real Madrid president suggested.
"They have had 20 years together.
"I am convinced they will not go for a legal fight and they will solve it in a friendly way. It would be what I would try, and I am sure [Josep Maria] Bartomeu Bartomeu will do the same," he said of the Barca president.
"I know him. He is a calm man, and he will look for the best solution for both. There is no need to go for any legal fight or any controversy."