Lionel Messi: Manchester Metropolis deny strategy to Barcelona ahead | Soccer Information
Manchester City have told Sky Sports News that Lionel Messi has not been approached despite the fact that the striker has entered the last four months of his contract with Barcelona.
A spokesman for the city says that no offers have been made in the summer or since, and there are no talks.
The Premier League front runners were the front runners in signing the 33-year-old last summer when he called for Barcelona to leave during a bitter contract battle.
However, Messi reluctantly stayed at the Nou camp after Barcelona’s former President Josep Maria Bartomeu insisted that his € 700m release clause had to be met in order for him to leave.
And although the striker was out of contract at the end of the season and is now free to negotiate with other clubs, he told a Spanish television station that he would make a decision about his future this summer.
However, the speculation has not stopped. Some media reports suggest that Manchester City was ready to offer a new package to lure the Argentine to Etihad.
French champions PSG also remain a possible candidate with a long-term goal of ending their major league soccer career.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner’s current contract, signed in 2017, was also published by the Spanish newspaper El Mundo last month.
According to the newspaper, the Argentine forward deal is valued at EUR 555 million (£ 492 million) and includes fixed incomes and extras that could reach nearly EUR 138 million (£ 122 million) each year.
It was further claimed that it was the most expensive ever given to an athlete and that it “ruined” Barcelona by causing its current financial crisis.
Barcelona have denied the leak came from the club’s board of directors and threatened legal action against El Mundo.
In December, interim president Carlos Tusquets also claimed the club should have sold Messi when he was about to leave last summer.
Tusquets said, “Both what you save on your payroll and what you earn would have been desirable.”
Lionel Messi 360: The view from all sides as Man City, Paris Saint-Germain and MLS clubs prepare to lure the Barcelona star
Lionel Messi can now talk to clubs outside Spain about leaving Barcelona for good this summer, but does he still want to leave despite last year’s transfer request?
His future is uncertain with any option on the table, so Sky Sports News has put together this comprehensive analysis of all sides of the equation.
Will he be reunited with Pep Guardiola in Manchester City? Will he play for compatriot Mauricio Pochettino in Paris Saint-Germain? Will he be flying straight to the US to play in MLS? Or will he end his career as a one-club man and stay with Barcelona?