Yes, that is not a misprint. An unnamed Russian side (Anzhi?) made an official offer of £205m (€250m) to Barcelona for Lionel Messi, according to reports in Spain.
The incredible offer, which would have more than doubled the current world record transfer fee, triggered Messi’s automatic release clause, meaning that Barcelona were contractually obliged to accept it.
However, the bid, which would also have seen the club pay Messi a salary of £24m (€29m) a year, £461,000 per week, AFTER tax, obviously did not interest the player.
The approach came during negotiations that ended earlier this month with the Argentinian signing a two-year contract extension at the Nou Camp.
While the story in El Mundo Deportivo, a Spanish sports daily, does not name the Russian club,billionaire-owned Anzhi Makhachkala are felt to be the likeliest candidates.
A remarkable offer. If you figure that the offer of Messi would have probably have been for five years, and Russia’s 30% tax rate for non-residents, his salary would have the club around £34 million a year. Multiple that by five years and you get a total salary cost of £170 million over five years. Add in the transfer fee of £205 million and some Russian side was willing to spend around £375 million (€456m) for Lionel Messi. Simply incredible.