Lionel Messi agreed to sign for Chelsea amid new transfer links after Barcelona exit
Chelsea target Lionel Messi came close to joining the club in 2014 under a “secret deal” amid new talks about a possible transfer of the Argentine to west London after his release by Barcelona.
Messi, 34, has a big decision to make after Joan Laporta admitted in an emergency press conference on Friday that it was impossible to keep the Copa America winner at the club due to fair trade regulations. -financial play in La Liga.
Laporta explained the club’s financial difficulties and how it relates to what has happened in the past 24 hours.
“The payroll represents 110% of the club’s total income,” revealed the Barcelona president.
“We have no margin in terms of salary. La Liga rules and regulations are governed by financial fair play and we have no margin.
“We knew that when we got to the club, but I have to say that when we got to the club, the numbers that were presented to us after the initial findings of the audit and our analysis, these numbers are much worse than what to what we were exposed to initially.
“The losses are much higher than we expected, what we are spending is much more than what we expected and the current contracts mean that we have this massive payroll and that doesn’t allow any margin. It all has to do with fair play.
“Financial fair play in La Liga does not follow the criteria of cash. This is the reason why we were not able to enter into the first contract we had concluded with Leo Messi and I can explain to you if it is what you have.” I will like.
“In order to have this fair play, Barca had to agree to an operation that would affect the club for the next 50 years in terms of television rights. I cannot make a decision that will affect the club for the next 50 years.”
He went on to explain how the dire financial situation of the Catalan club affected his decision to part ways with the player who has devoted 21 years of service to the cause.
“The reason we decided we had to get to this is because of the club’s economic situation and the fact that an investment of this volume with Leo Messi’s contract was risky,” added Laporta.
“A lot of aspects had to be negotiated: Leo’s contract had to be compatible with fair play, it had to be of a certain duration because he is the best player in the world and of course he has other offers. “
As the six-time Ballon d’Or winner lingers on his next leg, reflections naturally begin on where his next destination is, Stamford Bridge being one of the possibilities.
Messi once “secretly” agreed to join Chelsea for £ 208million in 2014, but that move fell through after his father and agent Jorge Messi found out about the informal talks.
Sky Sports’ Gianluca Di Marzio revealed that Roman Abramovich et co. has agreed to give Messi an annual salary of $ 65million (£ 46.7million) plus 70% image rights, with the Argentine supporting the deal.
However, it crashed and burned down after Messi’s father was told about the plans by an intermediary who was angry at being excluded from the negotiations.
Jose Mourinho started his second stint at Stamford Bridge when these proposed talks were held in private.
Chelsea may wonder what could have been, but the fact that they won the Premier League in the 2014/15 season with Eden Hazard playing the starring role to lead the club to more silverware will be a small consolation.
Currently, PSG are leading the race for the winger with reports that the Parisians have already made initial contact in an attempt to make the dream trio Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe a frightening reality.
Contacts will apparently intensify between the two sides as owner Nasser Al-Khelaifi has a “great desire” to bring arguably the best footballer in the world to his club.
Along with that, the 34-year-old is keen to reunite with his close friend Neymar, after Messi’s former club couldn’t afford to bring the Brazilian back to Spain last summer.