Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi is reportedly open to a change of club this summer but only if he is paid an astronomical wage for his services.
The 33-year-old has played his entire professional career with Barca and is widely regarded as the world’s top player. But he will fall out of contract at the end of the current campaign. The Catalans want him to remain but will only offer him fresh terms on a reduced salary.
The Argentinian’s father Jorge is currently negotiating on behalf of the forward. And a renewal at the Nou Camp seems the likely outcome.
But, for those clubs able to afford to pay £500k per week, there may be hope of landing Messi. That is the figure The Sun are quoting for any interested suitor to stand a chance of signing the La Liga legend.
The numbers involve rule out all but the richest clubs and Manchester City fall into that category. The Citizens were linked with a move for the South American last summer when he was pushing for an exit.
However, nothing materialised and he remained with the Spanish giants. But rumours persist that he would be open to trying his luck elsewhere at the right price.
A weekly wage of £500,000-a-week after tax would make Messi the highest paid player in Premier League history. He would earn £25m per year and it is open to debate whether even a club with City’s resources would pay that.
His demands mean that it is likely he will stay at Barca. But the club’s move for Erling Haaland and the pandemic means that finances will be tight.
Messi ambition a factor in future plans
Barcelona’s late-season wobble means they are unlikely to win the La Liga title this term. They sit third in the standings and are four points behind table-topping Atletico Madrid with two games to play.
Real Madrid are sandwiched in between and are the most likely to challenge their city rivals for the spoils. It seems as though the Copa del Rey will be the only silverware added to Messi’s collection in 2020-2021.
And that could be a factor prompting him to stay, with one last push to end his career at Barca on a high. He has won 10 Spanish top-flight crowns plus the Champions League on four occasions and seven Copa del Reys.
He will always be considered a club legend but would love to bow out on a positive note.