Transfer Rumour: Manchester City prepared to pay £100 million to Barcelona for Lionel Messi
- Executives of both the clubs held negotiations to decide whether a world record transfer was indeed possible.
What’s the story?
According to the Sun, Premier League big spenders Manchester City have told Barcelona that they are willing to pay £100 million to sign superstar Lionel Messi. It has also been reported that executives of both the clubs held negotiations to decide whether a world record transfer was indeed possible at the end of last month.
Although City have not made an official bid for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, they have made it clear that they are not afraid to pay in excess of the £89 million that neighbours Manchester United paid last summer for Paul Pogba.
In case you didn’t know…
Messi is in the last 18 months of his contract which runs out in 2018. Despite several attempts from Barcelona’s camp, he is yet to put pen to paper and extend his stay at Camp Nou. Barcelona recently tied down Luis Suarez and Neymar by making them sign new contracts and are reportedly looking to sell some fringe players to fund a new contract for Messi.
With City currently enjoying their worst run of the season, Pep Guardiola is under increasing scrutiny. During Everton’s 4-0 drubbing of City during the weekend, the Toffees fans were singing to Guardiola, ‘You’ll be sacked in the morning.’ The City boss himself can feel the pressure mounting.
The heart of the matter
Barcelona have not yet confirmed that they will sell their star forward, let alone name a price. However, the fact that they were willing to listen to City’s offers have encouraged the club’s executives. The report also added that a source had confirmed that the talks were all ‘positive’.
However, the Etihad hierarchy is keeping their faith on Guardiola and believe that he could transform the side into European winners. The hierarchy also believes that Guardiola’s relationship with Messi could be a big advantage in their pursuit of the Argentine forward.
Although Barcelona have handed huge deals to both Suarez and Neymar, the club has conceded that it would be difficult to afford the kind of contract the 29-year-old forward expects. On the other hand, City, reportedly, are willing to pay Messi nearly £800,000 a week. Messi’s camp have also claimed that there is a £850,000 a week offer from China.
Messi is arguably the best player in the world and any team would benefit from his addition. A move to China is unlikely, but the prospect of reuniting with Guardiola could tempt Messi. Barcelona would definitely look to keep hold of Messi, no matter what.