Manchester City are allegedly lining up a $300 million bid for Barcelona’s star striker, Lionel Messi.
According to the Daily Mail, Manchester City officials are currently looking into an enormous deal for the Argentinian striker, which they believe will help convince him to move to the Etihad Stadium.
Sources for the publication are confident that Messi’s current tax issue with the Spanish government will ultimately force him to leave the country. They also believe that an offer of $300 million to Barcelona, and a contract of $775,000 a week for Messi, would secure his services.
However, as ESPNFC noted, if Manchester City did agree such a deal, then they would certainly be breaking the regulations implemented by UEFA’s financial fair play.
The UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations mean that soccer sides aren’t allowed to spend more than they earn. This was brought in because of the spate of multi-billionaire owners that have purchased clubs across Europe and then spent beyond their means to make these teams successful.
Manchester City have already been sanctioned with a fine for breaking these rules, something that UEFA announced in May, 2014.
Lionel Messi started the rumors that he could be leaving the Nou Camp himself just a few weeks ago.
“Football takes many turns… While I always said that I would always stay there, sometimes not everything happens the way you want. I’ve said it many times: if I had my way I would stay forever. But as I just said, it’s not always given that you get everything you like. More so in football, which is constantly changing and so many things happen. It’s complicated.”
Not only has Messi seen his own remarkable form for Barcelona slightly eclipsed by Cristiano Ronaldo’s stunning goal scoring steak at Real Madrid, but he has become embroiled in a tax investigation that will see him stand trial, alongside his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, on tax evasion charges.
All of these issues have coagulated to generate murmurings that he would like to change clubs. Realistically, only Manchester City, Chelsea, or Paris Saint-Germain could afford the player, since they are owned by billionaires.
However, it’s assumed that Lionel Messi wouldn’t want to drop down in to the French League, which isn’t as competitive as La Liga, leaving Manchester City and Chelsea as his only destinations if he did decide to leave.
Chelsea’s manager, Jose Mourinho, has now twice flatly denied that his side will buy Lionel Messi, while Manchester City are yet to officially comment on the matter.
[Image via Nacion]