According to Catalan radio station RAC 1, Chelsea have been in touch with Lionel Messi’s dad to sound him out about a possible move to London in the summer.
The exact words used on the airwaves were that the club owned by Roman Abramovich approached the star’s father, Jorge,
“to raise the option of playing at Chelsea next season”.
Chelsea are reportedly willing to trigger Messi’s €250 million release clause in order to bring in the four-time Ballon d’Or winner.
Messi is widely regarded as one of the best players in the history of the game, and the 27-year-old broke the all-time goalscoring records in La Liga and the Champions League this season. However, his relationship with the Barcelona board isn’t quite as close as it once was, and Chelsea could make an enormous £200 million offer to bring him to the Premier League. The current world record transfer fee is the £85 million Real Madrid paid to sign Gareth Bale from Tottenham, and Chelsea’s offer for the Argentina international would dwarf that.
The news comes in the wake of a turbulent few days in which several Spanish newspapers have reported a “total breakdown” in the relationship between Messi and current Barcelona coach Luis Enrique.
Fanning the flames of these rumours, on Monday Messi started following Chelsea and two of the club’s players, former La Liga stars Thibaut Courtois and Filipe Luís, on Instagram.
However, Barça president Josep Maria Bartomeu has repeatedly stated that the ‘Azulgranas’ have no intention of letting Messi go, labelling the Argentine the best player in the world. This has done little to silence the speculation, though, and if nothing changes, the soap opera could well drag on until the summer.
It would be a mouthwatering transfers but I am not sure how Chelsea could pull it off under Uefa’s Financial Fair Play Rules. Add in wages of £500,000 a week on a four year deal and Messi would cost Chelsea around £300 million when it is all said and done. There is no way that Chelsea can afford that under FFP. However, if Abramovich decides he wants Messi, regardless of what Michel Platini says, then we could well see Messi in a blue Chelsea shirt next season.