Ronnie could leave - agent
Ronaldinho's 'strained' relationship with Barca could see the Brazilian leave the Spanish giants in the summer.
By James Dall
Last Updated: 28/03/08 7:58am
Ronaldinho's 'strained' relationship with Barcelona could see the Brazilian star leave the Spanish giants in the summer, according to the player's brother and agent Roberto Assis.
The 28-year-old forward's future at Camp Nou has been the subject of intense speculation over the course of the season as he has struggled for form and fitness.
Milan have been strongly linked with a summer move for the former Paris Saint Germain ace, while Chelsea are also reportedly monitoring his situation.
Ronaldinho came under further pressure when recent scans revealed he was not carrying a thigh injury, despite the player's claims to the contrary.
And in light of his seemingly eroding relationship with Barca, Assis has revealed that he is considering invoking article 17 of Fifa's transfer regulations as the value of the release clause in his contract is thought to be prohibitively high.
Article 17 allows players to buy out the remainder of their contract under certain circumstances and would likely prove a cheaper option.
Assis told GloboEsporte.com: "The possibility of Ronaldinho leaving Barcelona is always there.
"We are aware of the release clause, but we also know about the existence of article 17. Anything is possible.
"In football, results determine how things go. Barcelona have not won anything since last season and, as Ronaldinho is the star of the team, he is the one who is given the worst criticism."
Assis did not rule out the possibility of Ronaldinho moving to fierce rivals Real Madrid, saying: "It has already happened a number of times, even to big names such as Luis Figo.
"However, I don't like to name specific clubs."
Assis added that Ronaldinho could stay at the Camp Nou should Barca lift either the Primera Liga or UEFA Champions League title come the end of the season.
He said: "The relationship is strained, but imagine if Barca win the Champions League. They wouldn't let him go if he was a champion, would they?
"With their hands on a title, everything would be different."