Lionel Messi transfer to chelsea – Chelsea have been linked before, but there is one, big reason why Thomas Tuchel and the Blues will not be signing him – his wage demands.
Messi’s past four-year deal earned him almost £500million and for all of Chelsea’s big spending in the past two decades, including last summer’s £200m splurge, they operate far more shrewdly than the surface figures indicate.
Messi’s wage demands have not lowered and, at 34 years old, the West London club would need to make a rare departure from their unwritten transfer policy of not signing players nearing the end of their careers..
An exception may have been made for Thiago Silva last season but the financial outlay required to bring the free agent Brazil defender to Stamford Bridge was a fraction of what Messi would cost.
While the relaxation of financial fair play rules owing to the pandemic would enable Chelsea to make it work if they were desperate to sign him, the club remains focused on signing a new striker with defensive reinforcements also expected.
All the noises from Barcelona indicate that Messi will belatedly agree new terms at Camp Nou, likely signing a two-year deal once the numbers make sense for both parties. The La Liga club are in a dark financial hole post-pandemic with total debt reaching more than €1bn according to reports.
Speaking to El Transistor, club president Joan Laporta said: “We want him to stay and Leo wants to stay. Everything is on the right track, what’s left to sort out is the issue of fair play and we are in the process of finding the best solution for both parties.
“I’d like to be able to announce that he is staying but at the moment I cannot do that, because we are in the process of looking for the best solution for both parties.”
Bookmakers place Manchester City as the favourites to sign Messi should he end up leaving, with Paris Saint-Germain the next most likely destination followed by any Major League Soccer club.
Yet the French club are already busy bolstering Mauricio Pochettino’s squad, with confirmation of a number of big-name signings expected in the coming days – including supposed Chelsea target Achraf Hakimi.
City’s wage bill would require restructuring for him to be reunited with Pep Guardiola.
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